The Pacific Staghorn Sculpin spend most of their lives in salt and brackish waters, though they are capable of adapting to fresh water as well as extremely saline waters. The larvae begin their lives in the estuary where they spread out onto a soft and sandy substrate. As they develop into juveniles, the young fish depart in many directions including into freshwater. Most fish found in freshwater or less salty areas are the young juveniles which feed on amphipods, invertebrates, small fish, and aquatic insect larvae. The older Pacific Staghorn Sculpins tend to be the farthest upstream, giving way for more young fish to push up from the marine or estuary environments. The marine dwelling fish may follow the tide and have a diet of crabs, shrimp, and fish. Most Pacific Staghorn Sculpins feed actively at night, though they may eat throughout the day. Throughout the west coast spawning occurs in saltwater or brackish water from October to April, though in California the Pacific Staghorn Sculpin spawn in January and February.
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