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[edit] Rockfish of California

[edit] IDENTIFICATION: KEY FEATURES BY SPECIES

Common Name Character 1 Character 2 Character 3 Range
Bank Rockfishsmall black spots on dusky red backgroundLateral-line in bright red zonefin membranes blackIsla Guadalupe, Baja CA to Queen Charlotte Sound, B.C
Black & Yellow RockfishBody blacklarge yellow spotssix soft raysNatividad Isl., Baja CA to Eureka, CA
Black RockfishMaxilla extends to or past posterior of eyeround anal finwhite lateral lineParadise Cove, CA to Amchitka Island, AK
Blue RockfishMaxilla extends to mid-eyeSquared anal finlateral line darkPunta Santo Tomas, Baja CA to Sitka Straight, AK
Boccacio RockfishMaxilla extends to or past posterior of eye9 anal soft rayslaterally compressedPunta Blanca, Baja CA to Stepovak Bay, AK
Bronzespotted Rockfishmouth upturned2 clear orange areas below soft dorsal findark bronze bars radiate from eyesPunta Colnett, Baja CA to Monterey Bay, CA
Brown Rockfishbrownish red spot posterior edge of operculumdeep bodied squat body shapefins pinkish redBahia Tortugas, Baja CA to S.E. AK
Calico Rockfishdark broad oblique/diagonal bands on sidesinterband space mottledstrong head spinesSan Viscano Bay, Baja, CA to San Francisco
California Scorpionfish12 dorsal spinespalantine teeth presentvenomous spinesSanta Cruz, CA to Uncle Sam Bank, Baja CA
Canary Rockfishunderside of mandibles smoothlateral line in clear zonefish under 14" black spot in posterior portion of spinous dorsal finPunta Colnett, Baja CA to Shelikof Straight, AK
Chameleon Rockfishanterior lachrymal spine with several pointsprominent dentigerous knobswhitish pink when 1st caught then turns crimsonNewport Beach, CA to Pt. St. George, CA
Chilipepper RockfishMaxilla extends to mid-eyeLateral-line in bright red zone8 anal soft raysBahia Magdalena, Baja CA to Queen Charlotte Sound, B.C
China Rockfishcontinuous yellow stripe from 3rd/4th dorsal spine to caudal finbody black with white/yellow spotting7 anal raysRedondo Beach, CA to Kachemak Bay, S.E. AK
Copper Rockfishposterior 2/3s of lateral line clearwhite bellycopper color on white (to reddish) backgroundPunta Banda, Baja CA to Port Valdez, AK
Cowcod Rockfish4-5 narrow barsdeeply incised dorsal fin rays"roman nose" head shapePunta Colnett, Baja CA to Newport, OR
Flag Rockfishwhite body with red bars1st red bar remains on operculum17 pectoral raysArrecife Sacramento, Baja CA to Hecata Bank, OR
Freckled Rockfishdentigerous knobs on premaxillariesbody densely freckled with dark green spotsstripes in caudal fin membranesPunta San Roque, Baja CA to Point Conception, CA
Gopher RockfishBody light brown to dark brownpale white to flesh colored spotsbrown forked bar extending posterior from eyeSan Roque, Baja CA to Cape Blanco, OR
Grass Rockfish1st arch gill rakers bluntdeep bodied squat body shapeno scales on mandiblesBahia Playa Maria , Baja CA to Yaquina Bay, Oregon
Greenblotched Rockfishgreen wavy lines Not spots with large pale blotches dorsally17 pectoral raysscales on mandiblesBanco Ranger, Baja CA to Point Delgada, CA
Greenspotted Rockfish17 pectoral raysunderside of mandibles smoothmany round bright green spotsCedros Island, Baja CA to Copalis Head, Washington
Greenstriped Rockfish3-4 horizontal broken green stripesbody elongatepink lateral linePunta Colnett, Baja CA to Chirikof Isl., AK
Halfbanded Rockfish2 large dark saddlesstreaks on caudal fin2 sharp spines on lower edge of gill coverBahia de Sebastian Vizcaino, Baja CA to northern WA
Honeycomb Rockfishhoneycomb pattern on sidesdark borders on scales, light middle of scale1-4 pale patches dorsallyBahia San Juanico, Baja CA to Point Pinos, CA
Kelp Rockfish1st arch gill rakers long and thindeep bodied squat body shapescales on mandiblesIslas San Benito, Baja CA to Albion, CA
Longspine Thornyhead Rockfishgill cavity black16 dorsal spines, 4 and 5 longbilobed pectoral finCabo San Lucas, Baja CA to Shumigan Island, AK
Mexican Rockfishblack and redLateral-line in bright red zoneflat spine below anterior margin of eyeBahia Magdalena, Baja CA to Point Sur, CA
Olive Rockfish9 anal soft raysno reddish brown speckling on scalesfin membranes dullIslas San Benito, Baja CA to southern OR
Quillback Rockfishtwo tone, black posterior yellow-orange anterior very long/tall dorsal spinesdeeply notched dorsal fin membraneAnacapa Isl, CA to Kenai Peninsula, Gulf of AK
Redbanded Rockfish4 dark red bars upon white background1st bar mostly on body, not operculumpectoral fin rays 19-20San Diego, CA, to Bering Sea
Redstripe Rockfishlateral line gray bordered with redstrong forward directed symphyseal knob6-7 anal rayssouthern Baja CA to Pribilof Isl, AK
Rosethorn Rockfishno purple bar across nape16 pectoral rayswhite spots not bordered with purpleBanco Ranger, Baja CA to Sitkinak Island, Gulf of AK
Rosy Rockfishpurple bar on nape17 pectoral rayswhite spots bordered with purpleBahia Tortugas, Baja CA to Straight of Juan de Fuca, WA
Shortspine Thornyhead Rockfishgill cavity light with 1 black spot (maybe)15 dorsal spines, 3 is longestbilobed pectoral finIsla Cedros, Baja CA to Bering Sea
Speckled Rockfishbody covered in black speckling2 lachrymal spines directed posteriorlyno angular blotchesPunta Colnett, Baja CA to northern WA
Squarespot Rockfish2nd anal spine > than 1stangular blotches above lateral lineweak head spinesBahia San Quintin, Baja CA to southern OR
Starry Rockfishred body w/ white spotsmandibles without scales (usually)3-5 white blotchesBanco Thetis, Baja CA to Cordell Bank, CA
Stripetail Rockfishcaudal fin membranes with green stripespinkish body colorwhitish ventralBahia de Sebastian Vizcaino, Baja CA to Yakutat Bay, AK
Swordspine Rockfishlower jaw projects with Knob2nd Anal spine longer than soft raysorange red with 3-5 pale spots on dorsalIsla Guadalupe, Baja CA to San Francisco, CA
Tiger Rockfishred body colorblack barsstrong head spinesTanner/Cortez Banks, CA to Marmot Bay, AK
Tree Rockfishyellow body colorblack barspink/red lipsArrecife Sacramento, Baja CA to Tomales Pt, CA
Vemilion Rockfishunderside of mandibles roughfin edges blacklateral line non-distinctIsla San Benito, Caja CA to Vancouver Island, Canada
Widow Rockfishanal, pectoral, pelvic fins blackmandible to middle of eyewhitish belly with redBahia de Todos Santos, Baja CA to Kodiak Island, AK
Yelloweye Rockfishyellow eyeblack edges to finswhite anterior to posterior stripes in youngEnsenada, Baja CA to Umnak Island, AK
Yellowtail Rockfish8 anal soft raysreddish brown flecking on scalesfin membranes yellow in youngLa Jolla, CA to Unalaska Island, AK

[edit] Rockfish General


[edit] CRFS: California Marine Fish Identification Reference

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