Bank Rockfish

Scientific Name: Sebastes rufus

Distribution: Queen Charlotte Sound, British Columbia to central Baja California and Isla Guadalupe (off central Baja California).

Habitat: Bank rockfish are found from 100 to 1,500 ft (30.5-457 m), with juvenile and sub adult bank rockfish occupying depths between 295 and 951 ft (90-290 m). Bank rockfish commonly reside high-relief boulder fields or steep cliffs with caves and crevices at temperatures of 48 to 49oF (8.9-9.6oC).

Behavior: Bank rockfish are considered a relatively reclusive fish preferring to take shelter in caves and crevices. They have been known to form small to medium schools in regions of high densities. Females grow to be larger than males and produce up to 608,000 larvae that are released between December and May. Main prey items of bank rockfish include gelatinous zooplankton, krill, and fishes.

Why it is important: Bank rockfish are a commercially important species in California and southern Oregon that were historically caught via trawls and gill nets. Bank rockfish are also an important recreational fishery in southern California. A decrease in the age and size of bank rockfish has been observed since the 1970s, and a decrease in abundance has occurred since the 1990s.

Sources: FishBase, CDFW 2001 (Status Report), Love and York 2005, Love 2011, Kells et al. 2016

Quick Facts

Scientific Name: Sebastes rufus

Conservation Status (IUCN): Not evaluated

Lifespan: 53-80 years

Age at Maturity: 20+ years

Maximum Weight: 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg)

Speed: Unknown

Maximum Length: 22 in (55.2 cm)

Habitat: Temperate deep-water reefs, typically associated with medium to high-relief reefs

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