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Bottomfish Identification: Rockfish

Silvergray Rockfish
Sebastes brevispinis

Occasionally caught off the Washington coast by commercial harvesters using otter-trawls and longline gear.  Recreational harvest within Puget Sound has been closed.  See the Sportfishing Regulation Pamphlet.

Description: The silvergray rockfish is a slim rockfish species with reduced head spines.  They have dusky lips and a lower jaw that is long and protrudes beyond the upper jaw.  They have a prominent symphyseal knob at the tip of their lower jaw.  Underwater, silvergray are greenish to dark gray dorsally with tan sides, and are white, pink or cream ventrally.  The anal, pelvic, and pectoral fins, including their bases and the underside of the head are tinged with orange or pink. Underwater they may be confused with bocaccio.  However, bocaccio tend to be red, pink or brown, often have small dark spots, lack a strong symphyseal knob, and have a larger mouth. 

Maximum Size: To 73 cm (29.2 in) in length, and 4.7 kg (10.4 lbs) in weight.

Maximum Age: 84 years old.

Range/Habitat: Silvergray rockfish range from the western Gulf of Alaska to Bahia de Sebastian Vizcaino, central Baja California. They have been reported to live at water depths from 0 to 436 m (0-1,440 ft).  Adults of this species are most common at water depths from 100 to 300 m (330-990 ft).  Sub-adults and adults have been found over various rocky-bottom habitats.


  • Kramer, D. E., and V.M.  O'Connell, 1995. Guide to northeast Pacific rockfishes: genera Sebastes and Sebastolobus. Alaska Sea Grant College Program, University of Alaska.
  • Love, M. S., M. Yoklavich, and L. Thorsteinson, 2002. The rockfishes of the northeast Pacific. University of California Press.