"Estuaries such as Long Island Sound are among the most valuable ecosystems in the world. The Sound supports diverse marine life, including most of the fish and shellfish we value as food ..."

– Connecticut Sea Grant

Conservation & Research

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Long Island Sound Fun Fact

Long Island Sound is 113 miles long, 21 miles wide (at its widest) and holds about 18 trillion gallons of water. Its average depth is 63 feet – which is just a little deeper than the height of our IMAX screen! Can you fathom that?!

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Common Name: Bluefish

Latin Name: Pomatomus saltatrix

Size/weight: Rarely seen larger than 20 pounds and 40 inches long.

Range: Western Atlantic populations range from Canada in the north to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico in the south (depending on season).

Habitat:  Adults inhabit coastal waters and are, at times, found in estuaries, harbors and off sandy beaches.

Diet: The bluefish’s diet includes squid, crabs, butterfish, menhaden, shad, herring, hake and smaller bluefish.  Bluefish are known as very aggressive fish and will often leave partially eaten or maimed prey behind.

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Common Name: Atlantic cod

Latin Name: Gadus morhua

Size/weight: Up to 51 inches long and 77 pounds.

Range:  Both sides of the North Atlantic, on our side from Greenland to Cape Hatteras.

Habitat: Near the bottom of the water column in areas range from near shore to the edge of the continental shelf.

Diet: Cod are omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of fish and invertebrates.

Predators: Humans, larger fish.

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cownose ray

Common Name: Cownose ray

Latin Name: Rhinoptera bonasus

Size/weight:  Up to 45 inches wide (wing tip to wing tip) and 50 pounds.

Range:  Massachusetts to Brazil

Habitat:  Sandy, soft bottom areas.

Diet: Clams, oysters and bottom-dwelling invertebrates.

Predators:  Sharks are the cownose ray’s main predators.  Humans; disc-shaped cutouts of ray wings are sometimes passed off as scallop.  Cownose rays are also sometimes cut up as bait for other fish.

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Common Name: American eel

Latin Name: Anguilla rostrata

Size/weight:  Females average 2 to 3 feet but may grow to 5 to 6 feet long. Males are generally half as big.

Range: American eels range from Greenland to South America, occurring in all major streams along the Atlantic coastline. The females migrate far inland, and have been documented in nearly all states east of the Rocky Mountains. This is possible because eels are able to live out of water for short periods of time. Their ability to slither up a moist slope allows them to circumnavigate major obstructions (e.g. dams and waterfalls) along their routes.

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fiddler crab

Common Name: Atlantic marsh fiddler crab

Latin Name:  (Uca pugnax)

Size/weight: A small crab whose body (or carapace) is about 1 inch across. Males are slightly larger than females and have a blue spot on the top center.

Range:  Cape Cod down to northern Florida. This is the most common species of fiddler crab on the U.S. East Coast.

Habitat: in the intertidal mud of salt marshes. The crabs dig burrows, which they use for resting, mating, safety and hibernating. (They are known to roll up a ball of mud to plug their burrow hole at high tide.)

Diet:  They eat the mud too – well, they eat the tiny bits of fungus, algae, microbes, decaying plant & animal matter, and other organisms in the mud. What they don’t digest is deposited back as little mud balls.

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