Logo

Rockfish Identification

Fishing Regulations Icon Washington Fishing

All rockfish caught in Marine Areas 6-13 must be released immediately. See https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/rockfish

Yelloweye Rockfish

Orange-red to yellow body color, bright yellow eye, and fins may be tinged with black. Raspy ridges above eye, rear of anal fin vertical. Also called rasphead rockfish and red snapper. Typically the largest species of rockfish.

Black Rockfish

Body black or grey in color. Also called seabass and black bass. Large mouth, rounded anal fin.

Blue/Deacon Rockfish

Body is blue or black. Forehead has several diagonal bars. Has a small mouth. The anal fin is
vertical or slanted posteriorly.

Vermilion Rockfish

Body dark red and mottled gray. Red mouth and underside of jaw is rough. Fins may be edged with black. Anal fin rounded.

Canary Rockfish

Bright orange or yellow body, mottled with grey. Fins are orange without black edge. Three orange stripes across the head. Chin smooth to the touch. Anal fin sharp and angular.

Quillback Rockfish

Body brown with yellow mottling. High fin on back with yellow mottling. Have freckles on head and throat. Two light saddle patches on top of back.

Copper Rockfish

Body variable in color with light colored stripe along the rear of the lateral line. Two dark bars radiating from eye.

Yellowtail Rockfish

Olive green body with yellow-green fins. May have knob at tip of lower jaw. Rear edge of anal fin vertical.

China Rockfish

Body blue or black spotted with yellow and white. Prominent yellow stripe extending from top of back to along lateral line to caudal fin.

Bocaccio Rockfish

Body orange, olive, or brown. Large mouth extending past rear of eye, and projecting lower jaw.

Tiger Rockfish

Body pink to red with five red to black vertical stripes. Strong ridges between eyes. Two dark bars radiating from eye.

Widow Rockfish

The head is short, with a small mouth. Adults are various shades of brown to orange. Smaller fish are lighter.

Photos courtesy of Steve Axtell, and Victoria Okimura