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Family: Cottidae

Sculpins are small fish found in a variety of freshwater, brackish and marine habitats throughout New York. Although the family is tolerant of a range of salinities, individual species typically do not move between fresh and salt waters. They are recognized by their large heads, dorso-ventrally flattened bodies, lack of visible scales, and large, paddle-like pectoral fins. The family is found throughout the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere and is dominated by marine species. In New York four species are freshwater species and two are marine strays that are found episodically in the Hudson River and coastal streams. Two species are typical of mid- or high-elevation streams and are occasionally found in wave zones in lakes. Two species are found in deep-water habitats in the Great Lakes, and two are marine strays. All are native to New York drainages but have limited ranges within the state. The two deep-water forms are rare and protected.

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