Spiny Lumpsuckers are found in Puget Sound’s kelp and eelgrass beds. These golf-ball shaped fish are poor swimmers, so they use modified pelvic fins that act like a suction cup to attach to kelp, eel grass, rocks and other surfaces. They munch on crustaceans, worms, and other small marine invertebrates found in the substrate.
The number of Pacific Spiny Lumpsuckers appears to be stable for now. However, they are most abundant in eelgrass beds, which are a fragile (and ecologically important!) ecosystem. Eelgrass beds can be affected by shoreline development and sea level rise. Without eelgrass beds, many small species of fish and invertebrates won’t have a place to call home.