Rockfish hybrids (Sebastes spp.)

Hybrid copper-brown rockfish
Hybrid rockfish
Category: Fish
Related species groups: Rockfish

Description and Range

Physical description

Various genetic studies by Dr. Lisa Seeb, Piper Schwenke, and others have shown that Copper, Brown, and Quillback Rockfishes hybridize within Puget Sound. These fish may look obviously like a combination of species, while others may only be identified through genetic testing. Additionally, these species show natural color variation that can confound identification of hybrid rockfishes on appearance alone.

In addition to hybrids, rockfishes can also exhibit melanism, xanthism, and albinism that result in dark, yellow, or white pigmentation, respectively. This can make identification to species a challenge. Any fish caught that cannot be definitively identified should be released.