Aquarium Update
May 1, 2020


Exhibit Notes

A Squat Lobster megalopa from the light trap. Check out those long legs!


Me, Marley, giving a virtual high-five to Percy the Pygmy Rock Crab.

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So Many Tiny Fish and Crustaceans!
We have collected a handful of darling larval fish and crustaceans from the light trap sample each morning. Among others, we have found a sailfin sculpin, many silver-spotted sea ravens, a bunch of tadpole fatheads, and even a handful of tiny grunt sculpins! Each species is unique in its needs at such a young age, but we're doing our best to care for the ones that we collect! Stay tuned for more pictures and updates.

Tidepool 2 (Tidal Flats) Divided in Two Sections
Pinky the short-spined sea star is now in its appropriate habitat: Tidal Flats. However, we want to keep our sand dollars and heart cockles safe... which means keeping them away from Pinky. We added a divider to keep them separate, while still in the proper tank! 

The Woman behind the Curtain (computer?)
For those of you that are newer to the Aquarium Update, I'd like to introduce myself! I'm Marley, AmeriCorps member and Aquarium Educator, and author of the Aquarium Update! Thank you all for reading!!

We hope you are all staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times!


Docent Resources

PTMSC Volunteer Facebook Page
During these uncertain and socially-distanced times, we are learning to get involved and support each other in different ways. For many of us, we are missing that interaction with each other. This Facebook group is a way we can stay connected, supporting each other and our mission! To access the page, click here, or click on the photo above. You can also get there by visiting our PTMSC Facebook page, then clicking "PTMSC Volunteers" under Groups on the lefthand side of the page. We hope to "see" you there!

A copepod gets its close-up.
Photo by Michael Siddel.

What are Plankton?
If you've been wondering what is up with plankton, and why we care so much about it, check out this NOAA website! It offers a straightforward explanation of the extremely important organisms that make up the base of our food web. Click here or on the photo above.


Animal News


Pipefish- rounding out the group at 10 pipefish! all in Cluster C (Eelgrass).

Larval grunt sculpins- we are trying to raise a few larval grunts from the light trap! They hatch at just under 1 cm, shiny and gold with a big belly, and gradually transition into the grunt shape that we all know and love!


Large pollock (5)- moved off-exhibit for a bit to help the rest of the pollock chill out a bit, and make it easier to feed everyone in the Round tank

Silverspotted sea raven (4)- these cool kids came in with the light trap, and have moved onto exhibit to join the big leagues. 2 are in Cluster A (Surfgrass) and 2 are in Cluster C (Eelgrass). They grow up so fast (sigh)


That's all, folks!

Larval grunt sculpin from the light trap. As it grows, its body shape will start to look more angular and "grunt-y".


An adult silverspotted sea raven from a handful of years ago (no longer in our aquarium). Our juveniles are between 1 and 2 inches long, but growing oh so quickly.


Animal Spotlight



China Rockfish
Sebastes nebulosus

In our aquarium: Central Tank, Kelp Forest

  • Relatively solitary and sedentary (except during mating season when they may pair up, as seen above)
  • Longevity: more research is needed, but may live to 79 years
  • Color: navy blue to black body with white specks and yellow mottling, distinctive yellow stripe down body
  • Size: grows to reaches a total length of 45 cm (17.7 in)
  • Habitat: Rocky reef, often in crevices, and frequently found sharing dens with giant pacific octopuses! Found at depths of 30-800 feet, but most common above 330 feet.
  • Range: Gulf of Alaska to southern California
  • Reproduction: reach sexual maturity between 3 and 6 years. Undergo internal fertilization, giving birth to live larvae
  • After settling as juveniles, they typically stay within 30 square feet for the rest of their life!

For scheduling and volunteer support, please contact Gabriele at extension 120 or

For questions, comments, and requests about the Aquarium, please contact Ali at extension 122 or

Contact Us

Port Townsend Marine Science Center
532 Battery Way
Port Townsend, Washington 98368

(360) 385-5582

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