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Rockfish - Canary

Rockfish - Canary
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Also known as:

Orange rockfish

rock cod

rockfish

Common Group Name:

Rockfishes

Family Name:

Sebastidae

Genus Name:

Sebastes

Species Name:

Sebastes pinniger


Dispatch Method:

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.


Fish Description:

  • Canary rockfish have an orange/ yellow colouration with a distinctive lighter white/gray stripe along the lateral line and 3 orange stripes across the top and sides of the head.
  • Morphological differences from other rockfish species include a slightly forked tail and a smooth underside to the jaw that lacks scales.
  • Juvenile and adult canary rockfish feed mainly on planktonic crustaceans and other fishes.
  • Maximum age of this species exceeds 84 years.

Fish Distribution:

  • Canary rockfish occur on the west coast of the USA from Mexico north to Canada and Alaska.
  • Juveniles occur in shallower waters while adults occur mainly on the bottom on offshore rocky reefs, often near pinnacles, at depths between 250 and 600 feet, though they have been encountered at depths of up to 2700 feet.

Fish Size Common Length:

Common between 12-18 inches long, Maximum size around 30 inches and over 10 pounds.