Bocaccio Rockfish (Sebastes paucispinis)

Bocaccio Rockfish from commercial fishery landing
Bocaccio Rockfish from a commercial fishery landing.
Category: Fish
Related species groups: Rockfish
Federal status: Endangered

Description and Range

Physical description

Bocaccio are a large rockfish species with an elongate body type and are laterally compressed. They have a head that is pointed, a large mouth, and a symphyseal knob on the lower jaw that protrudes beyond the upper jaw. The body coloration of the Bocaccio is dark on the back, fading to a salmon pink on the belly. Young fish are generally red-brown to brown, with some saddles, bars, or spots. As Bocaccio age, their color generally becomes darker and the saddles and bars fade into vague mottling. This species has relatively small spines preceding the anal fin when compared to the typical size of rockfish anal spines.

Similar species that may be confused for Bocaccio include the Silvergray Rockfish and the Chilipepper Rockfish. In comparison to the reduced anal spines of Bocaccio, Silvergrays have moderately-sized anal spines. Chilipepper Rockfish can be distinguished by their red lateral lines, as well as a moderate mouth that ends mid-eye, whereas the large mouth of the Bocaccio ends beyond the edge of the eye.

Bocaccio can grow up to 98.1 cm (39 in) in length, and 10.7 kg (23.6 lb) in weight. The maximum age is at least 58 years old.

Geographic range

Bocaccio are found from the western Gulf of Alaska and Alaska Peninsula to Punta Blanca, central Baja California. They have been found at water depths ranging from 20 to 475 m (66 to 1,578 ft), but tend to be most abundant from 95 to 225 m (312 to 738 ft) in depth.

State record

WeightAnglerLocationDate Caught
23.63 lbs Carson Kendall Swiftsure Bank August 8, 1987

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