Spawning striated frogfish at Blue Heron Bridge

Most all underwater photographers at some point have relied upon the DeLoach & Humann fish ID and behavior books. Their commitment to continuing to find and capture new species and their behavior are a driving force behind most divers creature knowledge. Just recently Ned & Anna ventured down to Florida’s West Palm Beach to dive Blue Heron Bridge. By their own admission, it had been far to long since they visited one of their favourite spots.

Although it has been 17 years since I last dived under West Palm, Florida’s Blue Heron Bridge it has remained one of my all time favorite Florida dive sites. I was last there for a series of dives in the early 1990s when on the hunt for new species to expand the second edition of Reef Fish Identification.

Phil Foster Park a common entry point for the water here is closed for night time activities, however when this spit of sand is off access it is perfectly acceptable to venture there by boat. After some prior planning with local critter experts with regards to timing and tides a spectacular dive was

The obvious highlight of the night dive was the above video of a striated frogfish spawning. It is only recently people have seen a frogfish in this area but the Deloachs were about to get lucky as their “stars are aligned” and there is not just one but two frogfish nestled in the expected spot.

Once the right mooring line is located we quickly find our quarry nestled in the algae next to a slack rope. On seeing the frogfish, Anna and I immediately realize that our stars are aligned – we have happened upon a gravid female as round as a grapefruit. And best yet, a smaller golden-brown male rests against her side. If what we have been told is accurate, we will, in a matter of minutes, be in for a big treat.

The next day, on the next visit, there was still plenty more to see. Yellow Garden eels, juvenile Trunkfish, Sailfin Blenny, Dartfish and Horseshoe crabs can be seen in the photographs Ned has posted over on his Marine Life Encounters Blog. However other participants noted seeing seahorses, nudibranchs and stargazers Ned finds himself in awe and comments

I immediately realize that even with all the wonders found, we had only scratched the surface of the great animals that remain to be discovered under the Blue Heron Bridge. I guarantee it won’t be 17 more years before I make it back to the exotic critter capital of the eastern seaboard. ~ Ned DeLoach

Our forums are currently buzzing with images from Blue Heron Bridge one from Keri Wilk, another from Carol Grant and of course another one mentioning the Marine Life Encounters Blog post