Shortbelly rockfish (Sebastes jordani)

Category: Fish
Related species groups: Rockfish

Rarely caught by commercial harvesters off the Washington coast.

Description and Range

Physical description

Shortbelly rockfish have a slender and elongate body with a deeply forked caudal fin. Underwater they are silvery, pink or bronze with saddles on their backs and white or silvery splotches. Coloring fades to light ventrally. After capture they are usually pink or olive pink and lack bars or other marks. One of the most distinguishing characteristics is the anal vent that is positioned halfway between the anal fin and the pelvic fin. Fish resting on the bottom may be more deeply pigmented or exhibit heavy saddles or blotching.

Shortbelly rockfish can grow up to 35 cm (13.7 in) in length. Maximum age is at least 32 years old.

Geographic range

Shortbelly rockfish range from La Perouse Bank, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to Benito Island, Baja California. This species has been reported from Granite Island (off Kenai Peninsula), Alaska, but it has not been confirmed. Adults are found at water depths from 91 to 491 m (300-1,620 ft), but are most common at about 150 to 200 m (495-660 ft). Shortbelly are an active schooling species found in the water column and in aggregations on the bottom.


Rules and seasons

Recreational harvest within Puget Sound has been closed.