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Thread: Kelp Greenling color- wierd!

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Kelp Greenling color- wierd!

    Hi guys,

    Can somebody help me out here? On my recent Adak trip we caught some kelp greenling, and some of them had green flesh. It cooked up white, but I'm wondering why it's green at first? Some of the fish also were green around the lips and under the gills where they would normally be white.

    We cut into the stomach of one of them and a blue-green fluid came out that I hadn't seen before, which leads me to believe it's something they're eating. Shellfish?

    Years ago I used to spearfish off the Oregon coast and noticed the same thing there with greenling and with ling cod, but we never figured it out there either.

    I'm attaching a couple of pics so you can see what I mean...

    -Mike
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  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Here's another shot

    Here's a live one; you can see the green on his lips and even the base of his fins. I've seen green meat in them before, but nothing this extreme. Any experts out there care to comment?

    -Mike
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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Question greenling flesh....

    checked around a bit and nobody seems to have an answer...i have found green fleshed lingcod, cabezon, rock and kelp greenling off northern california years ago. we used to spot cabezon back in the recesses by the green grin...just aim a little higher and center!
    anyhow, my "guess" is that is like a white king, some genetic factor unrelated to diet.
    btw, the fish in your pic is a rock greenling, not a kelp greenling. i have not caught any green-fleshed kelp greenling around here, but many of the rockies are turqoise fleshed.
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  4. #4

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    It looks like that fish has spent too much time around Montgomery Burn's nuclear power plant.

  5. #5
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Green flesh

    It's related to the green crabs and Ethan Birkowitz knows all about it.

    No, really, I caught some over by the entrance to Sadie Cove once, and found that they cook up white, but seem to be a little on the mushy side. It is just a tad strange eating (what was) green flesh.

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    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Cool cruise ships

    Sorry Mike can't help but a couple years ago we caught a few lings on the edge of res.bay that had the blueish color on the outside. The only thing we could come up with is that too many cruise ships may have been in the area as the color looks like the same shade they would use in the head.
    Hmm but the big cruise ship companies wouldn't dump grey water into the bay though...

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Right you are!

    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    ...btw, the fish in your pic is a rock greenling, not a kelp greenling...
    Dave,

    I did some checking after reading your post, and you're right! I had no idea that there was more than one kind of greenling. Seems the easiest way to tell the difference is that the rockies have cirri on their head and a more rounded caudal fin. Interesting. Thanks! I learned something new today!

    -Mike
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  8. #8

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    I think your greenling would complement a breakfast of green eggs and ham. Maybe wash it down with a little green tea?

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    Default Blue color flesh...

    My data search revelaed this is typical of the Rock Greenling. It also indicated blue eggs during the spawn. I could find nothing in support of the blue flesh derivitive.

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  10. #10
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Blue meat in greenling

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanAuthor View Post
    My data search revelaed this is typical of the Rock Greenling. It also indicated blue eggs during the spawn. I could find nothing in support of the blue flesh derivitive.

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    Bernard,

    When we cleaned the fish, we accidentally cut into the stomach of one of them and it leaked a bunch of green fluid that was the exact same color of the flesh. This leads me to suspect that something they're eating is getting into the bloodstream and coloring the flesh of the fish. This could also explain the bluish tint to the fins and other areas where capillaries may be carrying this color out to other tissues. The lips and mouth parts were blue too, as were the undersides of the gill plates.

    Years ago we spearfished ling cod in Oregon that had the same thing going on. Not all of them, but about half or so. I was told then that it was dietary, but was never given a reason. It would be interesting to know. I suspect some sort of shellfish, but it's hard to say. We did hear one greenling make a "grunting" sound when it was alive, creating suspicion that it may have a grinding mechanism in its; esophagus, similar to what parrotfish have. This could aid in grinding shells in the same manner parrotfish grind coral in the digestive process. Don't know if greenling have this attribute or not...

    Interesting that you can hunt and fish all your life and still not know things like this. The ocean still fascinates me... so much to learn. So much to marvel at.

    Not knowing is almost as cool as having the answer. No, it might even be better.

    -Mike
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    Default Interesting Stuff...

    You are correct. It all never ceases to amaze me, but some of the new investigations are even more staggering. Today's paper had an AP article from a consortum of scientists who had published an essay in Scientific Journal that predicted the world's supply of fish would be exhausted by 2048.
    They have even calculated the demise of some our more famous bays due to the depletion of filter feeders due to overharvest.

    For my money, if I had a kid who was interested in a carreer in marine science, I defintely would be sending him to a curriculum that resulted in a degree in aquaculture. Farming will be the solution, obviously. Yet, that area is in strong opposition in Alaska.

    There's a whole new thread with that one...

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  12. #12
    robryan
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    ...if someone wants to catch their own 'green' or 'blue' greenlings, head to Seldovia Bay.

    Been eating them there for years now... never heard what makes them so colored.

    Can't say with any scientific evidence to provide to back it up, but I think the mushiness is the same as in pinks or another fish that goes soft as soon as it dies, ...something to do with enzymes already present in the flesh.

    Cook a greenling by sliding a fresh caught filet immediately into a hot pan on the boat, already sizzling with butter before the filet itself stops squirming, and the flesh is much more solid in texture.... wait an hour or so, and yes, they are a little on the mushy side. The longer you wait to cook the fish the softer and less appealing it will be.

    Pinks are much the same, cooked before they can be considered 'dead' and they can compete with any other salmon for textural solidity, ...wait too long and they become almost inedible compared to some other salmon.

    I'd be interested to know about what gives them their coloring.

    I haven't caught any lingcod that were anything but white, with sometimes a slight tinge of yellow.

  13. #13

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    Seems like I've caught some shrimp that have blue-green eggs. Maybe they're eating them?

  14. #14
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Question more on the green-ling

    what i have found out so far is that the guys on the west coast who know the most about the subject is that ...no one is sure....
    it is not related directly to a particular food or to spawning.
    most likely, like white king and the infrequent (this was news to me) salmon colored halibut it has to do with the presence of enzymes that affect the way the fish metabolizes the pigment causing elements of it's diet.
    the presence or lack of enzymes is genetic, not diet related.
    greenling may be called "greenling" because of this flesh coloration.
    lingcod are referred to as "blueling" in some areas...
    still have a couple unanswered e-mails out...will post if i hear a definitive answer.
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    Default I wondered too

    I saw this picture and wanted to ask on here.
    http://www.aktrekking.com/2004/Kenai...eenlingBig.jpg
    I've never seen one like it around Ketchikan.
    They ate it and it was fine.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Woah!

    That is a radical looking fish. I think i'd have a hard time eating it. Especially looking at me that way.

  17. #17
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Hey Homerdave-

    Just wanted to let you know my little fishies passed away. :-(
    My little boy and I had a funeral for them.
    I put a snail in their tank which was apparently diseased. Looked down by the boat harbor, but could find no open water that looked like it would harbor those special little fish. I will have to wait again for a special delivery.

  18. #18

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    I thinking something from the movie Alien.
    Call fish & game for a biologist,they might know but then again it could be from North Korea.Thats wild.

  19. #19
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default good pic

    that's a rock greenling.
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  20. #20
    robryan
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Just wanted to let you know my little fishies passed away. :-(
    What kind of fish were they? Maybe there's another source to replace them.

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