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Rainwater Killis, _Lucania parva_, go through some seasonal color
variation related to more active breeding activity. This time of year they
should be spawning at peak activity. I wouldn't expect females to be as
highly colored as males in the way they were described. A mature,
would-be-dominant male will usually have a large dark spot on the front
edge of the dorsal fin. As to the legality of collecting them in NY marine
waters, there is probably no restriction on that as long as you aren't
using a seine net more than 40 feet long and 4 feet deep (I think their
regs are about the same as Massachusetts. . .).
Who knows, maybe you have discovered a color morph. But I think you
discovered a healthy population.
fundulus at world_std.com