Black Rockfish


The Black Rockfish (Sebastes melanops) is a notable member​ of the Sebastidae family, often attracting the attention of fishermen and marine biologists alike.

Conservation Status

Current Status

The Black Rockfish is classified ‍as a species of “Least Concern” on⁤ the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Conservation Efforts

Despite their current status, various ​conservation efforts⁢ are in place​ to ⁤sustain this ⁣species, including ‍regulatory measures limiting recreational and commercial fishing.


Characteristic Average Range
Length 45cm 30-60cm
Weight 1.8kg 1-2.5kg
Lifespan 50 ⁢years



The Black Rockfish is​ found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean, from Southern California up to the Gulf of Alaska.

Migration Patterns

They don’t exhibit clear migratory behavior, but ⁢are known to reside in⁤ specific home ranges.


Water‍ Type

These fish ‌prefer marine, rather than⁢ freshwater environments.

Depth ⁣Range

They​ are often found at depths ranging from 0 to 366 meters.

Temperature Range

Black Rockfish thrive in temperatures between ⁤3-15°C.

When and Where to See

Seasonal Patterns

The⁣ best time to spot Black ⁤Rockfish ‍is during ⁢the summer months.

Time of Day

They are generally more active during the⁤ day, particularly in the early morning​ and late afternoon.

Best Fishing Locations

Good spots for Black‍ Rockfish fishing include the coastal areas of:

  • Point Arena, California
  • Monterey Bay, California
  • Puget Sound, Washington
  • Alitak Bay, Alaska
  • Ketchikan, Alaska
  • Neah Bay, Washington
  • Coos Bay, Oregon
  • Newport, Oregon
  • Yakutat, Alaska

How‌ to Catch

Preferred bait or lures

Using live ⁣or fresh dead bait ⁣is most effective, with anchovies and squid ⁢being particularly successful.

Fishing Techniques

Popular techniques include bottom fishing and trolling.

Best Time for Fishing

Summer months during high tide are considered​ the optimal time for fishing this​ species.

Identification Guide

Physical Characteristics

Recognizing a Black ⁣Rockfish is easy⁣ due to their charcoal to grayish color, along with their firm, muscular body. They also‍ feature⁤ a noticeably‍ large mouth and ‍spines ⁣on their ⁢dorsal fins.

Comparison with Similar Species

While similar in appearance ⁣to the Blue Rockfish, the Black Rockfish is distinguished by its⁢ grey-to-black color and elongated dorsal fins.


Cooking with Black Rockfish can result⁤ in some delicious meals. The meat is lean, mild in flavor, and​ takes ‌well to various cooking methods. However, be cautious of the ‍average mercury level, which⁢ is relatively low but still worth considering. Popular recipes include beer-battered fish and chips ⁣or oven-roasted black rockfish with wine sauce.

Additional Information

When not feeding ‍on shrimp, crabs, ‍and ⁣other small fish, Black Rockfish are breeding. They are viviparous, meaning​ they give birth to live young, a characteristic that differentiates them from most fish species. The⁤ juveniles often join together in schools for safety against various threats, which include sea birds‍ and sharks.

References and Further Reading

Acknowledged⁢ scientific databases such as IUCN, FishBase, and government resources such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries ⁤ can provide more in-depth information⁢ about the Black Rockfish.