Shortraker rockfish (Sebastes borealis)

Category: Fish
Related species groups: Rockfish

Occasionally caught off the Washington coast by commercial harvesters using otter-trawls and longline gear.

Description and Range

Physical description

As adults, shortraker rockfish are one of the largest rockfish species. Underwater they are light pink, pink-orange or red with blotches and saddles. All fins have some black and the dorsal fin may be white tipped. The mouth is red and may have black blotches. After capture they are orange-pink or reddish orange. Shortraker have stubby gill rakers, tipped with little nobs, and large pores on the lower jaw. This species is most often confused with rougheye rockfish. However, rougheye are distinguished by 2-10 spines below their eyes and long thin gill rakers on the first gill arch.

Shortraker rockfish can grow up to 120 cm (48 in) in length, and 23.0 kg (50.6 lbs) in weight. Maximum age is at least 157 years old. One of the longest lived fishes in the world.

Geographic range

Shortraker rockfish range from Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands to Point Conception, California. They are found at water depths from 25 to 1,200 m (83 to 3,960 ft), but are most abundant from about 300 to 500 m (990 to 1,650 ft). Young fish live in shallower water than older individuals. They occur on steeply sloped boulder fields surrounded by soft bottoms.


Rules and seasons

Recreational harvest within Puget Sound has been closed.