Blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus)

Category: Fish
Related species groups: Rockfish

Description and Range

Physical description

Blue Rockfish are gray-blue with dark blotches and have a deep, oval shaped body. They have two dark bars that radiate back from the eyes and across the gill cover, with additional bars that cross the top of the head.

In 2015, Blue Rockfish were split in to two separate species - Blue and Deacon Rockfishes. A major visual distinction between the two species is in the patterning on the body. While Blue Rockfish have dark blotches, Deacon Rockfish have small, dark, and relatively uniform speckles.

In addition to Deacon Rockfish, Blue Rockfish may also appear similar to Black Rockfish. Black Rockfish are grayer with dark saddle patches, have larger mouths and have more elongate bodies.

Blue Rockfish can grow up to 53 cm (21 in) in length, 1.8 kg (3.9 lb), living for up to at least 44 years.

Geographic range

Blue Rockfish are distributed from northern Oregon to northern Baja California, with the highest concentrations occurring off the coast of central to southern California. This species is most common from near the surface to about 90 m (297 ft). They are a schooling rockfish and are found just off bottom over rocky reefs, pinnacles, and kelp forests. They often school with other rockfish species, including Black, Deacon, and Yellowtail Rockfishes.

State record

4.84 lbs
Chris McMillin
Date Caught
July 2, 2011

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