Beware of the sharp gill covers and dorsal spines of rockfish when handling them. Most species of rockfish have similar brain locations and all can be very tolerant of air exposure. They should be killed humanely by iki jime, or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding.
- Black rockfish have a grey/black colouration with small dark spots on the dorsal fin, and a white or light coloured belly with dull gray pelvic fins.
- Morphological differences from other rockfish species include a rounded anal fin, relatively large mouth with the upper jaw past the middle of the eye, and no "hump" between the eyes.
- Juvenile and adult black rockfish feed mainly on planktonic crustaceans and other fishes.
- Black rockfish occur on the west coast of the USA from California north to Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.
- Juveniles occur in shallow coastal waters often less than 65 feet, while adults occur mainly on the bottom on offshore rocky reefs at depths between 100 and 600 feet, though they have been encountered at depths of up to 1000 feet.
Fish Size Common Length:
common between 12-16 inches (30-40 cm), maximum size around 24 inches (60 cm) and 11 pounds (4.8 kg)