Barlett (1848) wrote "[Tautaug] is an Indian word, and may be found in Roger Williams' Key to the Indian Language." The name is from the Narragansett language, originally tautauog (pl. of taut). It is also called a "black porgy" (cf. Japanese black porgy), "chub" (cf. the freshwater chub) , "oyster-fish" (in North Carolina)or "blackfish"(in New York/New Jersey).
Tautog have many adaptations to life in and around rocky areas. They have thick rubbery lips and powerful jaws. The backs of their throats contain a set of teeth resembling molars. Together these are used to pick and crush prey such as mollusks and crustaceans. Their skin also has a rubbery quality with a heavy slime covering, which helps to protect them when swimming among rocks.
Goode (1884) said "The tautog has always been a favorite table fish, especially in New York, its flesh being white, dry, and of a delicate flavor."
Davidson recommends grilling, baking, and using it in fish chowder.
Because they are often found in wrecks, they are often seen by scuba divers. They are also popular with spearfishermen, as they are remarkably calm in the presence of divers and are relatively easy to spear.
Seasonal occurrence and site-utilization patterns of adult tautog, Tautoga onitis (Labridae), at manmade and natural structures in lower Chesapeake Bay *.(Statistical Data Included)
Oct 01, 2001; Abstract--Ultrasonic transmitters were surgically implanted into adult tautog (n=27,400-514 mm TL) to document seasonal...
Spatial and temporal variation in otolith chemistry for tautog (Tautoga onitis) in Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island coastal ponds.(Report)
Apr 01, 2010; Abstract--The elemental composition of otoliths may provide valuable information for establishing connectivity between fish...