Fish 'n Fins - Dive Sites - Mandarin Fish Lake

Location: Risong Bay south of Koror.
Distance from Koror: 1 mile (2 kilometers) from Koror. 5 minutes by speedboat.
Level of Diving Experience: Novice
Diving Depth Summary: 3 to 24 feet (1 to 8 meters).
Visibility: 15 to 40 feet (5 to 13 meters).
Currents: None.

General Information: This secluded lagoon lies hidden between several of the Rock Islands. In the cove of the lagoon there are two large coral heads rising off the sandy bottom where the beautiful Mandarin Fish (Synchiropus splendidus) reside. Mandarin fish are extremely shy and can usually be seen only at dusk or on very cloudy days. Other fish species as well as invertebrates can also be found hiding among these large coral heads. To the patient photographer the rewards will be worth the wait.

Reef Formation: Mandarin Fish Lake is really not a lake, but a lagoon. The bottom is white sand. Two large coral heads stand almost in the middle of the cove.

Marine life: Mandarin fish are the attraction to this area. The fish are easily seen as they dart among the corals. The fish are very colorful and contrast beautifully against the white branches of the coral heads.

Diving: The area can be reached only by boat. The Mandarin fish can be seen by snorkelers as well as divers. If you are taking photographs, SCUBA is indicated.

Fascinating Facts: Mandarin fish are very reclusive and prefer still water so they can easily hide among rocks or corals. They are very territorial, so once you find them, you can usually find them every evening in the same place. The male has a beautiful long dorsal fin otherwise the male and female look alike.

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