(Trinectes maculatus)

A picture of a hogchoker
Hogchoker. Named after the spines it has on its dorsal fin!

The hogchoker is a fairly common member of the flounder family that can be found in the Patuxent River at King’s Landing.  This flatfish is the most tolerant member of its family, for the fresher water that occurs this far up the Patuxent River.  The hogchoker is recorded nearly every season that the seventh grade students sample at KLP.  The hogchoker feeds on small invertebrate animals that it captures on the bottom of the river.  The camouflage that this fish possesses makes it difficult to see when hauled in to shore with a load of river mud!

The name hogchoker comes from the fact that the fish were often fed to the hogs, since the fish were too small for humans to eat.  If a hog swallowed a fish tail first, the scales would catch in the hog’s throat, causing the hog to cough or choke.

The amount of hogchoker caught between 1997-2015
The amount of hogchoker caught between 1997-2015