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Thread: Yelloweye Rockfish

  1. #1

    Default Yelloweye Rockfish

    Dad,

    I know there are a lot of species referred to as "red snapper", including yelloweye.
    Here is my question. Yelloweye are a nice fish, we caught some nice ones last summer and in the past, AK and OR both. Their mouths (guts), eyes, etc. do not bulge even from really deep water it seems. Other "red snapper" will bulge out when being hauled from deep water. People often lump them together, when in my opinion, yelloweye are a much higher quality fish and you often catch them up to 30 pounds.

    Here is an example:

    http://neilmoomey.com/trips/2002_PWS_fishing/page4.htm
    (cut and paste this address)

    Neil Moomey in this case lumps the two types of fish as "yelloweye" and I think he is incorrect, but I don't really know.

    Am I correct in these two species? I have tried some reseach, and though there are many sources that identify by physical characteristics, I can't find any that address the difference as far as bloating from deep water.

    Maybe I'm just too bored with winter and ice fishing and stuff and can't think of anything else, but just hoping an expert might know this difference.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    those are called yelloweye rockfish, red snapper live in the gulf of mexico
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  3. #3
    Member Bent fin's Avatar
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    there are three difrent red fish that are comminly called red snaper that I know of Im not a biolegest but one is a ruffeye they get pritty big biger than the rest i seen them in the 50/60lb range and are founed pritty deep and the vermilion rock fish have a littel difrent red and a difrent tail than a yellow eye and the yellow eye is the most commin.and they all blow up if you bring them up fast

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    A fourth orange rockfish is the Canary rockfish. I've never seen one in southcentral, but they are not uncommon in WA and OR and their range supposedly goes north to SE AK.

  5. #5

    Default air bladders

    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    Their mouths (guts), eyes, etc. do not bulge even from really deep water it seems. Other "red snapper" will bulge out when being hauled from deep water.
    Yelloweye, like most or all rockfish, have air bladders, which are what expand when pulled up from the deep. That's what you see protruding from their mouths and what causes their eyes to bulge out.

    I don't know why some you've caught didn't do this, unless they just weren't deep enough. We caught some on a charter in PWS at about 600 ft. and all had their air bladders pushing way out of their mouths. The biggest one was over 20 lbs. and actually floated the 4 lb. weight by the time it reached the surface.

    Check out Profish-n-Sea's website that posts pictures of their catch. You can clearly see the bulging eyes on some fish, and the air sac in the mouth of those fish lying on the ground. July 3, July 31, Aug. 1 give good examples. I would bet these are all taken from shallower than 300 ft.

    http://www.profish-n-sea.com/scrap_b...ex=2&Year=2006
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  6. #6

    Default I think I'm way off

    Yeah, I think I'm way off on this and maybe they are the same fish.

    Incidentally I was talking to my dad about this last night. He and his dad were both charter fishermen in OR from the 80's back to the 60's. He said that if you take a bloated fish, (you intend to release it), hold it under the water for about five minutes with a pole (down as deep as you can), it will actually swim back down. I know this discussion went on on this forum many times and I never heard anyone come up with that resolution.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  7. #7
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Swim Bladder!!!

    It is a common misconception that the stomach sticking out of rockfish’s mouths is their swim bladder. It is really their stomach. Their swim bladder swells and forces their stomach out of their mouth. Next time you gut one look inside and you will see that the swim bladder is along the top of their back in the aft part of the cavity. Stabbing a hole in their stomach and throwing them back will usually only end in death. Smarter folks please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Steve

  8. #8

    Default

    stid2677 - you are correct, it is actually the stomach that the air bladder forces out of their mouths, it can also push the intestines out of...well, the opposite hole!
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  9. #9

    Default swim bladders

    Well not all of them have swim bladders. Ling cod don't, you never see them bulging no matter how deep you pull them up. I have pulled yelloweye from very deep and no bloating, but other have, but I'm not sure if they were actually yelloweye. I think they were possibly another species?
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  10. #10

    Default Yellow Eye Rock fish

    I have had a lot of problems in the past releasing Yellow Eyes in water from 100 - 150 ft when fishing for halibut and Ling cod. You can't let them go because they will just float belly up behind your boat. Your best bet to release them is to deflate the smim bladder by inserting a hollow point needle. The smim bladder needle can be bought at some takle stores, but you also need to know how to insert it into the fish. I have had much better success releasing shallow water rockfish like Blacks, Blues, Coppers, Chinas, Vermillions, and Cannaries caught in 40 - 60ft of water.

  11. #11

    Default

    The best way to release a rockfish is to not catch them at all unless you plan on keeping them. I found a big circle hook helps keep them off the hook. But I do like to fish for black rockfish, they are way fun to catch on the edges of kelp beds. But I leave those ancient mariners alone.... they have a hell of a hard life and they dont grow to good.

  12. #12
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I love catching rockfish in 20 feet of water using a jig and baitcaster, just like bass fishing
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    Well not all of them have swim bladders. Ling cod don't, you never see them bulging no matter how deep you pull them up. I have pulled yelloweye from very deep and no bloating, but other have, but I'm not sure if they were actually yelloweye. I think they were possibly another species?
    You're right, ling cod don't have swim bladders, but then they aren't a rockfish. All rockfish have swimbladders.

    ADFG suggests you can safely release rockfish caught at less than 60 ft. Beyond that, the depth is such that the pressure difference is enough to cause the air sac to inflate. So, presumably, the deeper you catch them, the greater the pressure difference, and the more the inflation - one would guess to a maximum point, whatever that is.

    Wildog - your dad's statement that he used to release fish successfully by pushing them down to a depth and holding them there appears to be supported in the following article:

    http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpu...bs/g05001.html
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  14. #14
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Rock Fish

    A biologist at the whittier dock told me that the fish in that picture was over 30 years old. Since then I move if I start to catch them. They taste okay, but I prefer halibut and salmon. I have no desire to kill a fish that grows that so. I'm not knocking anyone for catching them. I was on a charter that just kept throwing them back and I would watch them float off or be eaten by sea birds. Thats is just not my thing. I too enjoy catching them shallow where they can swim back down, and I keep the ones that can't. Good fishing and tight lines to all.

    Steve

  15. #15

    Default old, old fish

    "The oldest rockfish we have seen in Alaska is a 205-year-old rougheye that was caught off Ketchikan a few years ago," said Milton Love, associate research biologist at the University of California Santa Barbara. "A number of rockfish species live to be well over 100 years old."

    -From an online article.

    I've watched a bright orange-red "buoy-line" of shortrakers and rougheye floating away as far as the eye can see on a black-cod longliner when they set in areas those rockfish frequent. A real shame to see that, especially given how old they are. Too bad the fisherie's managers can't come up with a way to both allow those fish to be processed, and at the same time discouraging a boat from setting there. But I guess that's a whole 'nother topic!
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  16. #16
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    Nick most blackcod boats keep the rockfish they catch. A halibut vessel that doesn't have a groundfish endorsement wouldn't be able to though.

    On topic, "red snapper" up here ususally refers to:
    Yelloweyey, Rougheye, and Shortraker.
    All get big, but shortraker are usually biggest.. All get very very old.

    There are others that are grouped in the "red snapper" thing'
    Pacific Ocean Perch (commercially caught by draggers in the GOA and pacific)
    Canary
    Vermillon
    Any red rockfish really.

  17. #17
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    .....I was on a charter that just kept throwing them back and I would watch them float off or be eaten by sea birds.......
    Terrible.

    Frankly, I find yelloweye to be the finest eating in the sea. I even like it better than black rockfish or ling cod.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Terrible.

    Frankly, I find yelloweye to be the finest eating in the sea. I even like it better than black rockfish or ling cod.
    I agree, love them and so do my kids. Better than ling cod. They look spectacular too.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  19. #19
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Exclamation okay, i know i'm repeating myself...

    but i'm not gonna stop.
    yelloweye have LOTS of methyl mercury in them, second (on average) only to salmon sharks, although the highest levels in the F&G study i have were from a yelloweye caught off chugach island.
    big lingcod and big halibut are also pretty suspect in general.
    children and women who are or may become pregnant should NOT eat more then one serving of 4oz per month. that is what the guidelines for consumption are iirc.
    personally, since mercury inhibits neural development, i err on the side of caution, and though i and my wife enjoy the occasional yelloweye (usually at a restaurant) we have never fed 'em to our kid.
    none of the guys i know at F&G who have children will feed it to them either.
    black and dusky rockfish, as they are not so long lived, are fine table fare.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    yelloweye have LOTS of methyl mercury in them.
    This (mercury in fish) came up recently in another post (and not one of your's, Dave!

    The poster provided a very interesting report concerning mercury and selenium, which details how selenium, very prevalent in fish, actually counters the possible effects of mercury.

    http://newsletter.vitalchoice.com/e_...?x=b8wQMPW,b67

    I know there are two sides to any story, and it's clear this is debated even amongst the scientists, but it's an interesting read and I'd like to know more about it. I happen to really like yelloweye and lingcod, too, but also have a 3-year old...maybe she has to stick with the halibut!
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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