General Facts: Yelloweye Rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), Black Rockfish (Sebastes melonops)
Two 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
- Rockfish Conservation Efforts
- How to identify rockfish
- NOAA rockfish species list
- Rockfish deep water release device