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Beautiful Maui Snorkeling Fish to See Under Glassy Waters

The beautiful waters of Maui are world-famous for a reason. Maui’s beaches are lined with halcyon water, perfect for letting you see the natural beauty hiding just below. Thousands of species of marine life call Maui home, ranging from dolphins to turtles and beyond. But you also can’t miss the prismatic schools of fish. Keep reading to learn more about the fishy side of Maui! 

The Crystal Clear Waters of Maui

Have you ever swam in water so clear that you could see for hundreds of feet? It sounds like a fantasy, but for much of the year, it’s actually a reality around the tropical island of Maui. The weather in Maui is renown as consistently calm and sunny with rare exceptions creating comfortable and pristine waters that are extremely clear, especially when the sun is out and the light is piercing the deep blue.

Clear water is particularly important when you want to snorkel. It is certainly important to be able to see where you’re going, but you also want clear waters so that you can actually see all the fish and the colorful reef teeming with life. Cloudier waters can still be snorkeled in, but since less visibility often corresponds with rougher seas, it’s best to know about the ocean conditions before you decide to snorkel.

An Abundance of Colorful Fish

You wouldn’t want your vision obscured because that would mean that you’d miss out on the whole point of snorkeling in Maui! Maui has so many fish in the surrounding ocean. The tropical color range on the reef are vast, both in fish and coral: blue, orange, yellow, black and white and a wide spectrum in between. Some fish are long and skinny, such as the cornetfish, others are are round and puffy, such as the spotted pufferfish. Good snorkeling is all about seeing lots of cool and unique fish, and Maui does that better than anywhere.

Eye-Catching Species

Here are some of the Maui snorkeling fish to look out for:

  • Threadfin Butterfly – shaped like a rectangle and has a white and yellow body with black stripes.
  • Raccoon Butterfly – shaped like an oval and has a orange-yellow body with an eye patch similar to a raccoon.
  • Bluestripe Butterfly – shaped like a rectangle and has a pale yellow body with distinct blue stripes.
  • Teardrop Butterfly – shaped like a rectangular lemon and has a primarily white body with yellow and black outlining. There is a distinct shape in the middle of their body that resembles a teardrop.
  • Yellow Longnose Butterflyshaped like a guitar pick with a half-white, half-black mouth that looks like needle-nose pliers. They have a yellow body as a base.
  • Lemon Butterfly – shaped like an oval and has a yellow body with black markings near their eye and tail. They also have a distinct pattern of dots in a line on their body.
  • Potter’s Angelfish – shaped like an elongated heart and has an orange body with blue stripes and a blue fin.
  • Hogfish – shaped like a flattened lemon and has a body colored with various degrees of orange and white. They use their snout to root in the mud for their food like a hog.
  • Bird Wrasse – shaped like a wine bottle and has a blue body with a brown or bluish-green body. They have a snout similar to a bird.
  • Moorish Idol – shaped like a half-circle and has black and a few stripes of black and yellow coloring. They have a prominent fin on the top of their body.
  • Pennant Fish – shaped like a hat and has stripes of black and white for coloring with a yellow tail. They also have a very long fin on the top of their body.
  • White-Spotted Damsel – shaped like a goldfish with prominent fins and has dark blue coloring with black oval patterns. They have a white dot on the top of their body.
  • Arc Eye Hawkfish – shaped like a salmon and has dark orange coloring with a white stripe running along their body. They have a distinct arc around their eye making them look angry.
  • Parrotfish – shaped like an elongated lemon and comes in a variety of prismatic colors. They have a distinct beak-like shape around their mouth that makes them look like a parrot.

There is no guarantee that you’ll see all of these on your Maui snorkeling trip, but it serves as an example for just how many different types of Maui snorkeling fish that there really are! Even if one spot doesn’t work out, there’s always a chance of seeing something awesome on another part of the reef. 

Snorkeling Beyond the Coast

The fish in Maui are certainly wonderful, but if you go further from the coast, then you can find some larger creatures. Turtles are the easiest animal to find around Maui, but whales, in the winter, are also in great numbers too. Here are a few of the other species you might see:

  • Sea Turtles
  • Dolphins
  • Humpback Whales
  • Hawaiian Monk Seals
  • Many difference species of sharks
  • Octopi
  • Manta and Eagle Rays

Fortunately, most of these animals are quite harmless and don’t have an interest in humans. Any that do are extremely unlikely to ever be in a position to hurt you, so you don’t have to worry about sharks when you’re just trying to look at some fish. As long as you aren’t actively disturbing sea creatures they will leave you in peace.

The Greatest Access to Hawaii’s Aquatic Life

The island of Maui is blessed with some pristine water and gorgeous natural marine life. These, in combination with great weather, make Maui an excellent place to snorkel. One of the most appealing parts of snorkeling in Maui is the wide variety of fish you can see! You can see fish of all shapes, colors, and sizes, but you can also see some larger critters if you look beyond the reef! 

Maui certainly has a plethora of gorgeous fish to look at. Trying to find a good spot to experience this can be tricky sometimes, but a snorkeling tour can simplify that. Kai Kanani’s snorkel tours are designed to go to all of Maui’s best places for snorkeling, including the Molokini Crater, Hawaii’s premiere snorkel desitnation. You can see turtles, dolphins, whales, and numerous species of unique fish. If you want convenient access to the greatest view for Hawaii’s aquatic life, then give us a call today and book a tour!

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