|Rockfish Quick Facts|
|Colors||Ranges from bright red, orange, or yellow to blander black and gray.|
|Shapes||Adult rockfish may reach 8 to 40 inches in length.|
|Flesh colors||Meaty white|
|Major nutrients||Selenium (206.36%)
Vitamin B-12 (98.75%)
Rockfish normally live in a variety of habitats. Some live on rocky reefs or seafloors in near shore shallow waters. Others live on the deep seafloor or in the water column. In giant kelp forests, rockfish hover motionless under the kelp canopy, maintained by their air bladders. Some species rest on rocks at the bottom of the kelp forest, with creatures like sea cucumbers and abalone. Rockfish, also known as rock cod or Pacific red snapper, are popular with seafood lovers. But some rockfishes don’t breed until they’re 20 years old, and they have few young—these factors make them very vulnerable to overfishing.
Rockfish have large mouths that allow them to quickly inhale their prey. Most rockfish are territorial and will diligently defend their territory against perceived threats. Rockfish generally fall into two categories: red-fleshed and brown-fleshed. Red-fleshed fillets are generally considered more desirable, because they are less oily and have a longer shelf life. Rockfish fillets have a firm texture that holds up in soups and stews. They work well baked, steamed, fried and sauteed, but they’re not sturdy enough to grill.
Rockfish come in more than 100 species and many different shapes, sizes and color patterns. Colors vary from black and drab green to bright orange and red, and some rockfishes wear stripes or splotches. Their heads feature large eyes and thick, broad mouths that dip downward at the corners. Rockfishes are known for the bony plates on their heads and bodies and the heavy spines on their fins.
Types of Rockfish
Different types of rockfish are found around the world. Some of them are listed below:
1. Aurora Rockfish
Aurora Rockfish has Rose-red to pink dorsal surface, silvery on sides and ventral surface. Small lobes are projecting from anterior part of upper jaw. Long second anal fin spine. They are usually 41 cm (16 inches) long.
2. Bank Rockfish
Bank Rockfish has dusky on back, light red on body; black in membranes of fins; commonly with black spots on body and in dorsal fin. They are 20 inch long.
3. Black Rockfish
They have dark gray to black becoming lighter ventrally. Light gray mottling on back. Black spots on dorsal fin. Rounded anal fin. Weak head spines and symphyseal knob. They are 63 cm (25 inches) long.
4. Black and Yellow Rockfish
Black and Yellow Rockfish have black body with yellow blotches and spotting. Normally they are 39 cm (15 inches) long.
5. Blackgill Rockfish
Body and fins of black gill rockfish is uniformly dark red. Black on gill membranes, inside of mouth and often on tips of fins. Adults are large.
6. Blue Rockfish
Blue Rockfish has blue or black body color with unclear striping on forehead. Lighter ventrally. Dark fins and large pectoral fins. Anal fin slants. Other Common names of blue rockfish are sea bass, priest fish.
7. Bocaccio Rockfish
Bocaccio Rockfish has Olive brown to red on back, silvery-red to pink on sides. Lower jaw is long and extends behind eye. Short second anal fin spine. Rock salmon, salmon grouper are some of the common names of Bocaccio rockfish.
8. Brown Rockfish
Brown Rockfish are light brown with dark brown mottling. Dark brown blotch on upper part of gill cover may be faint in large individuals. Usually pinkish coloring on underside and fins.
9. Canary Rockfish
Canary Rockfish are bright yellow to orange mottled on a gray background gives body appearance of orange color. Fins are orange, 3 orange stripes across head, and gray along lateral line. Scales on lower jaw smooth.
10. Chili pepper Rockfish
Chili pepper rockfish are pinkish red to copper pink, white ventrally, pink fins. Lateral line in red zone. Second anal spine short, edge of anal fin slants posteriorly. Chin projects outward. No spine on edge of gill raker.
11. China Rockfish
China Rockfish has Blue or black body color, mottled with yellow. Broad yellow stripe normally start from third dorsal spine and running along the side. Head spines are thick, parietal ridges very high and thick. Mouth is small. They are 45 cm (18 inches) long and yellow stripe rockfish is one of the common names of China Rockfish.
12. Copper Rockfish
Copper Rockfish has variable coloration: dark brown or olive brown to copper with pink or yellow blotches, white undersides. Dorsal fins are dark copper brown to black with some white. Rear two-thirds of lateral line is light. Fish from South of Point Blanco, OR, often have more pronounced (deeply incised) spines and have orange-pink and coppery-yellow coloration and a dark “V” behind the eye. It is also known as White belly rockfish and is normally 58 cm (23 inches).
13. Cow cod Rockfish
Cow cod rockfish are yellowish-red with pink fins. Several faint vertical bars on sides of adults. Juveniles yellow with dark bars. They have very wide suborbital bone. Deeply incised dorsal fin is found in adults. It is also known as cowfish, roosterfish and is mostly found off California.
14. Dark blotched Rockfish
Dark blotched rockfish are deep bodied, pinkish with 5 dark patches on back (3 under spinous dorsal fin, 1 under soft dorsal fin, 1 under caudal peduncle). Second anal fin spine are shorter than third. It is also known as black blotched rockfish and is 58 cm (23 inches) long.
15. Gopher Rockfish
Gopher rockfish has stout body. Olive brown to reddish brown, mottled with pale areas of white to pink. Lower lip is orange. They are 43 cm (17 inches) long and are also known as Butterball, butter bass, red garrupa, spotted rock bass.
16. Grass Rockfish
Grass rockfish are normally dark green above; mottled with lighter green or gray on side. Fins are dark. Lower pectoral fin rays pinkish in some adults. Gill rakers on first arch short and blunt. It is also known as Scomoda and is 56 cm (22 inches) long.
17. Green spotted Rockfish
Green spotted rockfish has yellow pink body and fins, with bright green spots above lateral line and vermiculation’s on the back and top of head; 3-5 whitish to pink blotches on back. Chuckleheads, Santa Maria are few of the common names of Green spotted Rockfish and are normally 51 cm (20 inches) long.
18. Green striped Rockfish
They are pinkish yellow with 4 horizontal green stripes on body. Green streaks on caudal fin membranes with slender body. Long second anal fin spine. Other common name of Green striped Rockfish is cucumber, striped rockfish and is 39 cm (15 inches) long.
19. Harlequin Rockfish
It has slender body. Pink to red with irregular dark markings interrupted by lighter band along two thirds of lateral line. Caudal fin has dark membranes and pink or red band terminating fin. Anal fin has black between second and third spines. Tip of spinous dorsal fin black. They are normally found in bowers Bank and Petrel Bank, Aleutian Islands, to Cobb Seamount off Oregon and are 38 cm (15 inches) long.
20. Northern Rockfish
They have dark red body color with dark gray mottling and orange flecks. Fourteen spines are found in dorsal fin. Weakly developed head spines, second anal fin spine as long as third. Top of head convex between eyes. They are normally found in Bering Sea to Stalemate Bank off Graham Island, British Columbia.
21. Pacific Ocean Perch
Pacific Ocean Perch has bright to light red, dark patches below dorsal fin, mouth pink. Dark spot on gill cover. Lower jaw with prominent forward directed symphyseal knob. Short second anal spine. POP, long jaw rockfish are some of the common names of Pacific Ocean Perch and is 51 cm (20 inches) long.
22. Puget Sound Rockfish
Puget Sound Rockfish is reddish brown to copper with dark blotches, fading to whitish ventrally. Red mouth, light fins, anal fin rounded. It is normally found in Prince William Sound, Alaska, to Punta Gorda, California. Schools are over rocky reefs.
23. Pygmy Rockfish
Pygmy Rockfish are a small rockfish, light brown tinged in red, lighter below. Four dark blotches along dorsal fin, dark pigment extends from back onto fin, may be vague. Brownish red stripe are found on lateral line. Coloration is distinctly darker dorsally than ventrally. It is also known as slender rockfish, Wilson’s rockfish and is 23 cm (9 inches) long.
24. Quillback Rockfish
Quillback rockfish is slate-brown mottled with yellow and orange. Deeply incised membranes on spinous dorsal fin. Strong head spines. Orange or brown are mottling ventrally on head and anterior part of body. Brown “freckles” on gill cover and throat. First dorsal fin with yellow streak. Deeply incised spinous dorsal fin. It is found in Kodiak Island and Prince William Sound, Alaska, to Point Sur, California on Rocky bottom and reefs.
25. Red banded Rockfish
Red banded Rockfish is light pink to red with four darker red vertical bars on body. Bars are more prominent on smaller fish. First bar extends from front of first dorsal fin to base of pectoral fin. It is found in bering Sea and Amchitka Island, Alaska, to San Diego, California and is 64 cm (25 inches) long.
26. Red stripe Rockfish
They are light red mottled with olive on back, lower sides flushed with yellow. Light red stripe along lateral line. They have darkened lips, red fins with some light green or yellow. Very shallow notch is found in dorsal fin. They are 51 cm (20 inches) long.
27. Rose thorn Rockfish
It is orange or yellow with greenish mottling dorsally, lighter ventrally. Four to five squarish white spots tinged or bordered with light pink on back. Long second anal fin spine. It is a small rockfish about 41 cm (16 inches) long.
28. Rosy Rockfish
Body color of rosy rockfish is red and washed with yellow. Four or five whitish blotches bordered by purple on back. Purple bar across top of head behind eyes. Corsair, dude is few of the common names of rosy rockfish and is 51 cm (20 inches) long.
29. Sharp chin Rockfish
Sharp chin Rockfish is pink to yellow pink, yellowish pink on sides, light below. With 5 to 6 vague dark markings on back, v-shaped dusky marking from eye to gill cover. Second anal fin spine longer than third. No spine on edge of gill cover. It is normally found in Semisopochnoi Island, Aleutian Islands, to San Diego, California.
30. Short belly Rockfish
Short belly rockfish has slender, elongate body, olive-pink above becoming light pink on sides. Vent halfway between anal fin and pelvic fin. They are 32 cm (13 inches) long and are normally found in La Perouse Bank, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to Benito Island, Baja California.
31. Shortraker Rockfish
Shortraker Rockfish are reddish pink to orange red. Mouth red and may have black blotches. Adults are large with short, club-like gill rakers on first gill arch. Buoy keg, grouper are some of the popular names of shortraker rockfish.
32. Silver gray Rockfish
They are greenish to silver gray, white tinged with orange or pink ventrally. Black lips, lower jaw long and protruding beyond upper jaw. It is found in Bering Sea to Baja California and is 71 cm (28 inches) long.
33. Speckled Rockfish
Speckled Rockfish are orange-brown or tan above, yellow tan below, tips of jaws and lower fin membranes blackened, covered with small black spots. It is also known as widow, zipola, brown fish, beccafico and s found in Oregon to Baja California.
34. Splitnose Rockfish
They have red body, silver ventrally. Toothed knob at front of each upper jaw, deep notch between jaws. Splitlip, rosefish are other common names of Splitnose Rockfish and are 46 cm (18 inches) long.
35. Stripe tail Rockfish
They are yellowish-pink, silvery ventrally. Green streaks on caudal fin. Dusky saddles on back may be vague with long 2nd anal fin spine. Two sharply hooked spines above upper jaw. They are 41 cm (16 inches) long and are found in Yakutat Bay, Alaska, to Rompiente Point, Baja California.
36. Tiger Rockfish
They are light pink to red with 5 dark vertical stripes on body. Stripes may be red to black in color. Head spines are thick, parietal ridges very thick and coarse. Banded rockfish, black-banded rockfish are few of the common names of Tiger Rockfish.
37. Vermilion Rockfish
They are red dorsally. Red sides mottled with gray. Red mouth and fins, with fins often edged with black. Three obscure orange stripes radiating from each eye. Deep caudal peduncle with scaly lower jaw. Normally found in Southeast Alaska to Baja California and are 76 cm (30 inches) long.
38. Widow Rockfish
They are brassy brown to dusky, lighter ventrally. Membranes of fins dark (lighter on spinous dorsal). Caudal peduncle is narrow. Anal fin has a strong posterior slant. Strongly rounded (convex) for head. It is also known as brownie, brown bomber, soft brown and is normally found in Middle Albatross Bank off Kodiak Island, Alaska, to Todos Santos Bay, Baja California.
39. Yellow eye Rockfish
They are orange red to orange yellow, bright yellow eye; fins may be black at tips. Rasp-like ridges above the eye. Adults usually have light band on lateral line (line may be white). Juveniles have two light bands, one on lateral line and one shorter line below lateral line. They are found in Umnak Island and Prince William Sound, Alaska, to Ensenada, Baja California.
40. Yellow mouth Rockfish
They are red-orange with dark blotches. Mouth is pinkish white with yellow and black blotches with pinkish lateral line, 3 vague dark bands across head. Long lower jaw is present with moderate, wide smyphyseal knob. Second anal fin spike shorter than third. Found normally in Northern Gulf of Alaska to Crecent City, California and is 58 cm (23 inches) long.
41. Yellow tail Rockfish
They are olive green to dusky-brown with some light mottling dorsally. Light ventrally. Fins yellow. Rear edge of anal fin are vertical or with slight anterior slant. Head spines are weak. It is commonly known as greenie, green snapper and is found in Unalaska Island, Alaska, to San Diego, California.
Apart from their sweet taste, rockfish is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 149 gram of rockfish offers 113.5 µg of Selenium, 2.37 µg of Vitamin B-12, 33.12 g of Protein, 370 mg of Phosphorus, 6.9 µg of Vitamin D, 0.359 mg of Vitamin B6, 4.317 mg of Vitamin B3 and 0.337 mg of Vitamin B2. Moreover many Amino acids 0.441 g of Tryptophan, 1.511 g of Threonine, 1.579 g of Isoleucine, 2.734 g of Leucine, 3.26 g of Lysine, 1.053 g of Methionine and 0.356 g of Cystine are also found in 149 gram of rockfish.
How to Eat
- It is best baked, sautéed, broiled or poached.
- Rockfish is also an excellent fish for use in ceviches.
- Rockfish also works great in soups, chowders and stews.
- In Asian cuisine, rockfish are often served whole, either steamed or deep fried, with a variety of sauces to accent the mild flavor.
- It is one of the longest-living fishes, possibly living to 200 years old in the Gulf of Alaska.
- There are 102 species of rockfish worldwide and 65 species off of the Pacific Coast.
- Dorsal fin of many rockfishes contains a mild poison, and while not at all fatal, it may lead to an irritated puncture wound.
- Many rockfishes are territorial and will defend their territory against perceived threats.
- Rockfish often extend their dorsal spines and lean towards an approaching threat as a defensive posture.
- Egg production differs with each species of rockfish – canary rockfish can produce as many as 1,000,000 eggs at one time.
Rockfish, also known as rock cod or Pacific red snapper, are popular with seafood lovers. But some rockfishes don’t breed until they’re 20 years old, and they have few young—these factors make them very vulnerable to overfishing. They live in a variety of habitats. Some live on rocky reefs or seafloors in near shore shallow waters. Others live on the deep seafloor or in the water column. In giant kelp forests, rockfish hover motionless under the kelp canopy, buoyed by their air bladders. Some species rest on rocks at the bottom of the kelp forest, with creatures like sea cucumbers and abalone. Rockfish fillets have a firm texture that holds up in soups and stews. They work well baked, steamed, fried and sauteed, but they’re not sturdy enough to grill.
|Common/English Name||Pacific red snapper, rock cod, black bass, Pacific ocean perch, POP, widow rockfish, canary rockfish, chilipepper, thorny head|
|Name in Other Languages||French: Racasse du nor
|Fish Size & Shape||Adult rockfish may reach 8 to 40 inches in length.|
|Fish Color||Coloration ranges from bright red, orange, or yellow to blander black and gray.|
|Flesh Color||Meaty white|
|Fish Weight||1 to 40 pounds, but 2 to 5 pounds is most common.|
|Flavor||Delicate, nutty, sweet flavor.|
|Feed on||Plankton, small crustaceans, fish|
|Lifespan||Some Varieties can live 200 years|
|Major Nutrition||Selenium, Se 113.5 µg (206.36%)
Tryptophan 0.441 g (100.23%)
Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamine) 2.37 µg (98.75%)
Lysine 3.26 g (97.49%)
Isoleucine 1.579 g (94.44%)
Threonine 1.511 g (85.85%)
Valine 1.648 g (78.03%)
Leucine 2.734 g (73.97%)
Protein 33.12 g (66.24%)
Histidine 0.748 g (60.71%)
Phosphorus, P 370 mg (52.86%)
Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) 6.9 µg (46.00%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.359 mg (27.62%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 4.317 mg (26.98%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.337 mg (25.92%)
Choline 117.3 mg (21.33%)
Potassium, K 696 mg (14.81%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.602 mg (12.04%)
Magnesium, Mg 49 mg (11.67%)
|Calories in 1 Fillet (149 g)||162 Kcal|