The mottled sculpin, Cottus bairdii, is a freshwater sculpin (family Cottidae) found widely although unevenly throughout North America.

As the name suggests, its coloration is a combination of bars, spots, and speckles randomly distributed. The large pectoral fins are banded. The first dorsal fin is made of slender and somewhat soft spines, and just barely joins with the second dorsal. Maximum length is 15 cm.

It feeds primarily on aquatic insect larvae, but will also eat crustaceans, small fish, fish eggs, and some plant material. In turn, the sculpin is preyed upon by other fish, notably trout. Favored habitat is well-oxygenated and clear water, such as over gravel riffles in mountain streams, springs, and along rocky lake shores.

Ref: Mottled Sculpin