Knowing little of the finny tribe, I borrowed the Bradford Public Library's copy of Langdon's introductory Fishes of Vermont (2006). It's an excellent, informative, helpful guide. With Langdon's help, I can now declare that it's undeniably the brown bullhead, a species of catfish, that has been multiplying in our pond, The bullhead, a villainous omnivore, is one of the causes of the steep decline of our population of frogs. The big, plug-ugly, bebarbelled brute gobbles frog-egg globules.
Readers of this blague will not be astonished to learn that Dr. M .has fallen deeply in love with fish names. Take the brown bullhead, for example. It's also known by such evocative and lunatic denominations as the horned pout, the mudcat, and the minister. Minister? To whom, or under what circumstances, would a brown bullhead minister?
My favorite Vermont fish, nomenclature-wise, is the slimy sculpin, also performing under such titles as the blob, the chucklehead, the rock cusk, the stargazer, and the cockatouch. The slimy sculpin should not be confused with its near cousin, the mottled sculpin -- which can also be addressed as the slowfish or gudgeon.
Many of the common Vermont fishes have lost their colorful historic names. The bowfin was once called the John A. Gindle, the stonecat was the doogler, the lake trout was the togue or longue, the burbot was variously ling or lawyer (lawyer? minister? why not accountant? or dentist?), the quillback was the buffalo, and the gar was the needlenose. On the other hand, the blandly-named pond perch of olden days is trending in the reverse direction: it's now called the pumpkinseed -- a name which seems curiously vegetarian for a predatory denizen of the deep.
If I had known that there was a fish called the cisco (known on jolly days as the tollibee and on prosaic days as the sand herring), I would long ago have promoted Galen Cisco to my all-time-great Baseball-Fish Team, adding him to such piscine luminaries as Catfish Hunter, Dizzy Trout, Chico Salmon, Sid Bream, Bobby Sturgeon, Art "Red" Herring, and Shad Roe.
No Sculpins in MLB that I can recall, but In a more poetic universe, "Slimy" Sculpin would have been a spitball pitcher, or perhaps even a team owner.