15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Alaskan Blackfish For Kids

How many fun Alaskan blackfish facts do you know about? Read this quick article and brush up your knowledge of this creature!

Alaska blackfish can be found in the state of western Alaska, eastern Siberia, and the Bering Sea islands, and they inhabit lowlands, weed-choked lakes, and ponds. The Alaska blackfish are well known for their hardy nature and are able to survive, even thrive in the most unforgiving conditions of Alaskan waters. Pectoralis Alaska blackfish prefer to spend the winter in the bottom regions of lakes. Still, when oxygen levels drop below a certain level, they migrate to the surface and congregate at breathing holes (as these fish have the ability to breathe in atmospheric air). Pre-existing openings made by beavers, muskrats, fishers, or thin surfaces of the ice can serve as breathing places. It is with this little oxygen, along with competition for resources, and terrible weather, that they lead their life.

If you want to know more about the stories of these small yet strong fish, along with fishing for Alaskan blackfish, look at a picture (Alaskan blackfish), and their life and times, then continue to read ahead! If you want to learn more about the various fish in the world, then you can check out monkfish or the gar to know more.

Alaskan Blackfish

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Zooplankton, small fish, insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.2-0.6 lb (0.1-0.2 kg)

How long are they?

4.3 in (11 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Green or brown

Skin Type

Wet scales

What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them



Arctic region of Alaska





Scientific Name

Dallia pectoralis





Alaskan Blackfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Alaskan blackfish?

The Alaska blackfish (Dallia pectoralis) is a type of fish.

What class of animal does an Alaskan blackfish belong to?

The Pectoralis Alaska blackfish belongs to the class of fish.

How many Alaskan blackfish are there in the world?

These Alaska blackfish are widespread in Eastern Siberia and western Alaska. However, the estimated population of these fish is unexplored.

Where does an Alaskan blackfish live?

The Alaska blackfish (Dallia pectoralis) lives in the low-lying freshwater ponds or streams and possesses the unusual ability to breathe atmospheric air. The Bering Sea Islands, Alaska, and Siberia are all home to Alaska blackfish (Dallia pectoralis). In addition, they inhabit Alaska's Colville Delta, which stretches south towards the state of central Alaska Peninsula near Chignik, and the upstream Yukon-Tanana basin, which stretches to near Fairbanks.

What is an Alaskan blackfish's habitat?

The Alaskan blackfish habitat is usually in low-lying streams and ponds with thick vegetation and rivers and sparsely forested lakes where the usually freezing water is typically stagnant during the summer.

Blackfish have been seen schooling beneath the ice and chewing away at the ice while swimming above to breathe, making an audible sucking or snapping sound. The Alaskan blackfish is noted for its cold-water resistance, having been found to survive 40 minutes at -4 F (-20 C). However, despite their hardiness, the Alaska blackfish (Dallia pectoralis) has been seen to develop edema and die in large numbers when exposed to freezing cold water in the winter.

Who does Alaskan blackfish live with?

Alaska blackfish are solitary creatures who wait or hunt for prey on their own.

How long does an Alaskan blackfish live?

These aquatic Alaska blackfish that belong to Siberia can survive up to eight years in a favorable environment.

How do they reproduce?

Spawning takes place between May and August, and fish have the ability to spawn multiple times. During the spawning period, a female can discharge between 40-300 eggs, but this depends entirely on her size. The young are roughly 0.2 in (6 mm) in length after they hatch and survive for an average of 10 days on the yolk sac.

Blackfish from interior Alaska and the Anchorage region roughly 4.3 in (11 cm) at the age of two. Bristol Bay blackfish, on the other side, grow far more slowly and survive longer. The length of a four-year-old fish is around 2.5 in (6.3 cm).

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these Alaska blackfish (Dallia pectoralis) is Least Concern declared by IUCN Red List.

Alaskan Blackfish Fun Facts

What do Alaskan blackfish look like?

Their enormous paddle-like chest fins and tail, short ventral fins, posterior location of the dorsal and anal spines, with relatively broad, flat head-set them apart from other fish. Their upper surfaces are dark green or brown, and their lower sides are light, with irregular blotchy regions.

A reddish fringe runs over the dorsal, anal and caudal (tail) fins of mature males, distinguishing them from females. In addition, the ends of the ventral fins typically extend considerably beyond the front anal fin in adult males, while they do not occur in females. The stem is slender and long, with a wide, flat head. On the dorsal surface, the hue is dark green through brown but pale below, having light-colored spots appearing laterally.

The Alaska blackfish is legendary in fishing circles for its hardiness.
*Please note that this is the Eurasian minnow, a close relative of the Alaska blackfish. If you have an image of the Alaska blackfish please let us know at

How cute are they?

This tundra river fish (scientific name: Dallia pectoralis) is found in ponds and lakes, not seems cute. But their expertise to breathe in climatic air is make them fantastic fish.

How do they communicate?

The communication skills of Alaska blackfish, which reside in Bering Ocean Island, are not investigated.

How big is an Alaskan blackfish?

Alaska blackfish survive in Eastern Siberia and have the ability to inhale climatic oxygen, length measures about 4.3 in (11 cm). Another incredible fish that inhales oxygen from the air and survive up to four days on the ground is the northern snakehead fish. The length of this snakehead fish is 17.3-28.3 in (44-71.8 cm). The Alaska blackfish is much smaller than the snakehead.

How fast can an Alaskan blackfish swim?

Through the course of their life, the Alaska blackfish feed on insect larvae and plankton and are one of the slowest swimmers of all wildlife in the region.

How much does an Alaskan blackfish weigh?

The average weight of these tundra fishes inhabits the freezing cold water lakes or ponds is between 0.2-0.6 lb (0.1-0.2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no special title for male and female species of brown-colored Alaska blackfish that reside in eastern Siberia and in the frozen waters of the Anchorage area of Alaska.

What would you call a baby Alaskan blackfish?

The lake water fish baby, called the Alaska blackfish does not have a unique name.

What do they eat?

Aquatic insects and invertebrates are the main food sources of the Alaskan blackfish diet in and around Anchorage. However, Alaska blackfish are opportunistic feeders, and their bellies have been found to contain food like algae, copepods, ostracods, snails, and caddis fly larvae. In addition, larger Alaska blackfish can include young northern pike in their diet.

Alaska blackfish are slow-moving bottom-dwelling fish with huge pectoral fins that move slowly through the vegetation in quest of food. When they spot a prey creature, they use a fast dart to catch it, similar to a northern pike.

Are they dangerous?

The freezing cold-water fish, Alaska blackfish, is not dangerous species. You might see the Alaska blackfish on land, sometimes, since they have the ability to inhale atmospheric oxygen.

Would they make a good pet?

For native populations in western and interior Alaska, particularly those in interior Alaska, the Alaska blackfish is an essential subsistence fish. Their importance stems from their great nutritional value and availability during the freezing winter, typically a lean season.

Blackfish travel to the surface of the freezing water to acquire atmospheric oxygen while oxygen levels inside the benthic areas of lakes become low, creating ice fishing an excellent way of capture. As a result, Alaska blackfish are frequently saved, frozen in ice, and then given as nourishment to dogs. The dogs enjoy the fresh fish, and other than dogs, it was also fed to any other pets receptive to meat. There are also Alaskan stories remembering moments when blackfish would appear to resurrect themself upon thawing from the ice.

Did you know...

The tautog (Tautoga onitis), often referred to as the blackfish, is a wrasse native to the Western Atlantic Ocean (Nova Scotia through South Carolina).

Massive populations of record-breaking salmon, halibut, ice-frozen Arctic char, rainbow trout, and other challenging game fish abound in Alaska's ice-frozen oceans, lakes, ponds, and rivers. The Alaska blackfish is, without a doubt is among the fascinating fish in Alaska.

Is the Alaskan blackfish endangered?

The Alaska blackfish is not categorized as an Endangered or Vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

What's the difference between an Alaskan blackfish and regular fish?

Alaska blackfish is the Arctic's only air-breathing fish. Just a few fish in the globe can inhale air oxygen. As a result, the Alaska blackfish thrives in places where other fish cannot, such as stagnant, freezing waterways and periodic tundra ponds.

The development of an air-breathing fish in arctic settings appears odd because most oxygen difficulties in the freezing water are thought to occur in the winter when air consumption would occur to be of no benefit due to the ice cover. But, on the other hand, this capacity permits these little fish to survive in the narrow, stagnant tundra.

Their huge pectoral fins like a paddle, as well as their small ventral spines, posterior location of the dorsal and anal fins, and broad, flattened head, set them apart from other fish.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these chamois facts and coho salmon facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable African catfish coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of the Eurasian minnow, a close relative of the Alaska blackfish. If you have an image of the Alaska blackfish please let us know at



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