|Official Name: Barnacle Trout.|
|Common Nicknames: Scrapers.|
|Habitat: Coastal saltwater areas, mainly near Ithania.|
|Current Status Common.|
Barnacle Trouts are common saltwater fish that pose a problem to most sea captains. They enjoy swimming around large ships, as the bottom of a vessel on a long-voyage provides easy access to a large amount of food (Barnacles) to not only survive, but also stay satisfied.
First Recorded Encounter
“As the crew hauled cargo and supplies from Ithania aboard ‘The Sunrider,’ I noticed a small group of rather odd fish swimming around our ship. They seemed to be "sucking" the bottom of ‘The Sunrider,’ then moving on to a different section and repeating the same action. It's hard to tell, as the water is rather murky in this particular spot, but they seem to be about eight inches in length, and they have a soft blue color with an interesting purple stripe.” ~ Excerpt from Captain Harry Bridge's Journal
The first encounter of the Barnacle Trout was from the crew aboard the schooner ‘The Sunrider’ in 183 A.C. The crew, like their captain, reported strange blue fish that seemed to be sucking the bottom of their vessel when ‘The Sunrider’ was anchored or moving at an extremely slow pace. This sucking action was later revealed to be the Barnacle Trout eating the barnacles that grew on the bottom of ‘The Sunrider’. More and more crews described similar fish sucking the bottom of their ship, and after close observation, the Barnacle Trout was discovered.
The Barnacle Trout still remains a very common fish that is frequently spotted around unclean docks and anchored ships. Although safe to eat, Barnacle Trout have a very distinct taste that you'll either love or despise given that their flesh is quite bitter. Due to this, they are rarely fished, as well as the fact that they have more bones than your average fish, making them slightly hard to eat.
Barnacle Trout are a rather small species of fish, the largest recorded growth length being only one foot. They have two small eyes on each side of their head, which are normally colored yellow, but the shade can vary from red to green. Their mouths can stretch very wide and upon inspection have flat, human-like teeth that are useful for grinding and crunching hard crustaceans such as barnacles, their favored prey. They have three dorsal fins that, size-wise, are large to small leading from the head to tail. Finally, the Barnacle Trout has a thin tail which curves up sharply, helping them propel through the water.
Notable Physical Traits
While their scales/skin feels delicate and slimy, they have numerous bones underneath, which protects them from harm. Said scales are of a soft-blue colouring which helps them blend in with the water. Barnacle Trout have a very distinct purple stripe which starts from their face and runs along the length of their body, stopping just before the tail. Their purple stripe helps people to distinguish them from other fish, and also makes it easier for fellow Barnacle Trout to identify each other from predators.
Origin and Diversity
The origins of the Barnacle Trout are unknown, though they share a close genetic relationship with common salmon. You can find large groups of Barnacle Trout in Ithania, which is believed to be where they originated from. Regardless of their close relation to the Ithanian waters, you can always find a small cluster or individual Barnacle Trouts near any dock in a relatively warm climate.
Life Span and Development
A Barnacle Trout's average lifespan is approximately six years. Breeding happens early on in the year when the trout migrate to freshwater to lay eggs. Most females are able to lay up to fifteen fries at a time. The beginning of their life is rather difficult, as their teeth haven't fully developed. Until their teeth have a chance to reach their full-size, Barnacle Trout have to scramble to find smaller crustaceans in freshwater which is a very difficult task when up to three hundred fries are battling for barnacles at the same time. Most of the Barnacle Trout make it through this difficult time period, but at a great cost, as they start their adulthood skinny and starving. Once their teeth develop, they begin to eat larger barnacles, the types you would find on a ship.
Barnacle Trout have a very small mental capacity, and their life mainly consists of eating and mating. Barnacle Trout only trust other Barnacle Trout, which they are able to identify via their purple stripe. They tend to swim away from any other fish, even if it's not a predator. They are quite territorial though and will act with hostility against anything that encroaches on their feeding or breeding grounds.
Territory and Groupings
Barnacle Trout live in groups of up to ten, and they guard their territory fiercely. They use their powerful jaws to clamp onto other fish who invade their space, dragging them away from the territory or simply killing them. However, if anything appears even mildly threatening, Barnacle Trout will hide away and not take the risk of bringing danger to their home.
- Barnacle Trout are a nuisance to all sea captains, and the crew of Windbreaker has been working on developing a special coating that decreases the amount of barnacles that stick to a ship's hull.
- Due to a Barnacle Trout's hard skeleton, the meat is especially hard to remove. This causes the Barnacle Trout to be considered a delicacy in some areas of Ithania, as the long and arduous process of removing and preparing Barnacle Trout meat is quite expensive.
- The trout are such a nuisance to sailors due to their feeding habits. As they scrape the barnacles off of the ship's bottom, they can accidentally scratch the hull, and after a long period of time, shallow holes begin to appear, weakening the wood.