CA Lizardfish in Monterey?


on July 20th, 2013 I was diving around the metridium fields at San Carlos Beach in Monterey, CA and I saw a fish I had never seen before.  When I first saw it I thought to myself, "Wow, that looks a lot like a lizardfish!"  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it.  I went back to a variety of fish ID books that I have and scanned the pages for photos of the fish I had seen and it could be one of 2 fish, CA Lizardfish or Pacific Snake Prickleback.  The fish was about 5-6 inches long, laying on the sand.  When I approached, it darted away and settled on the sand again.  It was the color of the light sand with some slightly darker speckles on it.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good look at the dorsal fin (pricklebacks have a long continuous fin and lizardfish have a short dorsal fin and a small adipose fin).  I'm leaning more towards lizardfish, but several ID books say they are rare above Point Conception (and I saw 5 on this one dive).  I was curious if any of you have seen a lizard-like fish around Monterey and if you found out for sure what it was.



Design by Joanne Kidd, development by Ben Weintraub