Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, October 2005

Coastal Creature Feature

August’s Creature Feature was the Tautog (pronounced taw-TOG) and is also called a Tog or Blackfish.  This bottom-dwelling fish is very abundant and popular with recreational fishermen.  Young tautog are bright green, but they turn black/brown when mature at 3-4 years old.  They use large teeth and lips to crush and eat shellfish, barnacles, sand dollars, and crabs.  These fish have a peculiar habit of resting on the sand, lying on their sides in groups.  At night, they are so docile that divers can touch them.  The world record Tautog was caught off Ocean City, NJ, weighing 25 lbs and measuring 34 1/2 inches.  Congratulations to Mike Semmel of Highlands, who correctly guessed the Tautog and won a COA T-shirt!


October’s Creature Feature is listed as an endangered species in NJ, which affords it special protection under the law.  These birds live on oceanfront beaches and barrier islands, typically nesting in flat areas on the stretch of beach between the dunes and high-tide line.  They blend-in remarkably with sand and broken pieces of shell, and are similar in appearance to several species of more common shorebirds.  To enter for a chance to win a COA T-shirt, send your guess by mail, fax, or e-mail (PO Box 505, Sandy Hook, NJ 07732; fax 732-872-8041;


(What’s Cool at ICE and Coastal Creature Feature appear every other month.)


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

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