The minnow has eyes that are on top it's head, and it was dead, floating in the water. I didn't think to take more pictures, but I did take one, next to my daughter's head, to show comparison. I haven't seen this type of fish before.
That's a small one.... and as you may know, juveniles can be hard to ID. Some tidepool sculpins, etc, are that size as adults, but I think that's a juvenile. My guess of the family is Cottidae (Sculpins).I almost see a stripe on the side of this one. Many species in the genus Cottus (freshwater sculpins) have such stripes.
Patricia Yaska writes:
We have never heard of sculpin before, or seen them in this area before. Or at least, I have never seen this type of fish before.
Comments from LEO Editors:
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus) can be found (generally) in Alaskan waters. Whether they are found locally is a good question for area residents.These bottom dwelling fish can be found in streams and lakes across the continental US, Canada and in Alaska. When fully grown, they average about three inches in length, but one defining feature are the eyes on top of it's head. Slimy sculpin spawn soon after spring break-up, and eggs hatch about 30 days later. Once hatched, the sac-fry remain in the nest to develop further, fully emerging from the nest as fry about a week later. Slimy sculpin feed primarily on insects, but also eat fish eggs (including sockeye salmon eggs), other small fish, and crustaceans.
Researchers are interested in the slimy sculpin as a possible indicator species for changes in water acidity. Sculpin were found to be less active and have lower rates of reproduction in more acidic waters. Erica Lujan