Yellowtail Rockfish (Sebastes flavidus)

Category: Fish
Related species groups: Rockfish

Description and Range

Physical description

Yellowtail Rockfish have an elongated and laterally compressed body with reduced head spines. The body color is brownish gray with a dark saddle patch along the back that is interspersed with lighter blotches. As the name suggests, the fins are yellow, and yellow bars radiate back from the eyes across the gill cover.

Similar species include Black Rockfish. The two species can be differentiated based on the distinctive yellow tint to the Yellowtail’s fins, whereas the Black Rockfish is primarily dark gray.

Yellowtail Rockfish can grow up to 66 cm (26 in) in length, and 4.2 kg (9.3 lbs) in weight. Maximum age is at least 64 years old.

Geographic range

Yellowtail Rockfish range from Unalaska Island, Alaska, to Isla San Martin, northern Baja California. They can be found from the surface to 549 m (1,801 ft) in water depth, and are typically found between depths of 90-180 m (295-590 ft).

State record

WeightAnglerLocationDate Caught
7.38 lbs Ken Culver Westport September 15, 1992

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