Alaskan Rockfish

General Facts: Yelloweye Rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), Black Rockfish (Sebastes melonops)


Alaskan RockfishTwo species of Rockfish can be found in Alaska: yelloweye and black.  The yelloweye rockfish are sometimes called Pacific red snapper, yellow belly, or red rock cod. Both have bass-shaped bodies, large mouths, and have spiny dorsal fins.  The spines on the black rockfish are venomous, but not toxic. Yelloweyes are characterized by their namesake; large yellow eyes. Juveniles of both species can look very different from adults.  Young fish can be orange to dark brown.  Adult yelloweyes are colored a bright red/orange to yellow/orange with light colored lines along their bodies. Adult black rockfish are gray/black with stripes from their eyes to their dorsal fins.

Rockfish prey on zooplankton, crustaceans, sand lance, herring, and other rockfish.

Black rockfish grow to a maximum of 11 pounds and can live up to 50 years. They mature at around 6-8 years. Yelloweyes are larger. They can grow up to 36 inches and can live up to 121 years.  Yelloweyes mature at around 18 to 22 years.


The oldest yelloweye caught:  121 years

Links about Alaska Rockfish Fishing