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Students find ‘unidentified fish’ at mouth of Coney Island Creek

Brooklyn Daily
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Photo gallery

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Hoping for a big one: From left, Lola Busari, of Coney Island, and counselors Imani Pickering and Elisa Gilson aim to catch a net full of sea life.
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A new friend: Trinity Manning of Gravesend shows off a crab she caught during the City Parks Foundation educational trip.
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Come out to play: Amaya Young, of Coney Island, coaxes a snail out of its shell.
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In a pinch: Don’t worry, this little guy got to go free after the class took a look at him.

Something fishy is going on.

A group of public school students on a field trip discovered an “unidentified fish” at the mouth of Coney Island Creek on July 24.

“It seems to be in the darter family — definitely a bottom fish,” said Joel Rodriguez of the City Parks Foundation, which organized the trip. “We were very excited when we found it.”

Biologists will identify the finned enigma and try to explain how it came to Brooklyn’s shores, he said.

Stumbling on unidentified swimming objects like the obscure darter is not as uncommon as one might think, Rodriguez said.

“We usually catch one or two species a year which we’ve never seen before,” he said.

Last year, teams found a “Mexican Lookdown Fish,” which likely came north amid unusually warm summer waters, Rodriguez said.

During the July 24 outing, 20 fourth- and fifth-graders from Coney’s own PS 188 got a lesson in the dangers of over-fishing before donning some waders and diving in, Rodriguez said. The group cast nets for nautical organisms and used flash cards to help identify the haul, he said. Once they finished their fishy examination, the students and biologist flung the creatures back into the briny deep, Rodriguez said.

In addition to the mystery fish, students found pufferfish, pipefish, eastern mud snails, bluefish, Atlantic silversides, and sand crabs, he said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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