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Thread: Another fish ID question.........or argument

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    New member Sockeye Salm's Avatar
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    Default Another fish ID question.........or argument

    Ok so last Saturday I caught this Yellow Eye and then hooked this "other" large rockfish. Give me your opinion on how you ID this "other" fish. It was caught in 60 feet of water on top of a pinnacle, and weighed about twenty lbs.








    my guess is a Rough Eye Rockfish (dark phase)



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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    i think you are correct, rougheye, aleutian (dark) morph.
    rougheyes are the longest lived rockfish, they have been aged to 205 years!
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    That gets my vote, too.
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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    The only way I can tell them apart is to saute them both in butter and taste a large quantity of them. Please bring them over to my house for immediate identification.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

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    New member Sockeye Salm's Avatar
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    I had a plateful of the suspected "Rough Eye" Monday morning, battered with a light dusting of Krusteaz bake & fry, then fried very fast in a couple tablespoons of very hot extra virgin olive oil, and topped with a little dill weed and pepper. It was as good as it gets!!

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    I also think it may be a rougheye, based on the length of the 2nd anal fin ray, and the black edging of all fins except for the dorsal fin. Rougheye are normally found in much deeper waters not accesable to sport fishing tackle. The IGFA world record for shortraker is 14 lbs 10 oz, so it looks like you ate a record fish!

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    Too much orange, no pink or pinkish color. I couldn't find anything on the NOAA Alaska fish descriptions page for rougheyes and shortrakers that would keep me from calling the darker one a yelloweye.

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    New member Sockeye Salm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    Too much orange, no pink or pinkish color. I couldn't find anything on the NOAA Alaska fish descriptions page for rougheyes and shortrakers that would keep me from calling the darker one a yelloweye.
    Go to the NOAA fish identification PDF, found here..................

    http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/race/media/...echmemo117.pdf

    Then on page 24 look at the picture of the rough eye, notice in the upper right corner of the picture is the dark phase rough eye. I believe that's what I have. What is curious though, is I caught it in only 10 fathom of water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akfishdude View Post
    I also think it may be a rougheye, based on the length of the 2nd anal fin ray, and the black edging of all fins except for the dorsal fin. Rougheye are normally found in much deeper waters not accesable to sport fishing tackle. The IGFA world record for shortraker is 14 lbs 10 oz, so it looks like you ate a record fish!
    The "rougheye" and "shortraker" are different according to Alaska Saltwater Fishes (Kessler). The rougheye is Sebastes aleutianus and the shortraker is Sebastes borealis. So I think the record is safe!
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    What remains of the light side stripes that you see in juvenile yelloweyes is still visible in your dark fish. Neither the shortraker nor the rougheye show those prominent light stripes on the lateral line and below like on your dark fish. Even on a "normal" yelloweye, you still see a light stripe at the lateral line on adult fish.

    Yelloweye and I'm sticking to it! Does anyone know the name of a bio that could give the final word?

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    A very nice yelloweye
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    It's a rockfish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    Does anyone know the name of a bio that could give the final word?
    Any bio worth their salt wouldn't give a final word on a rockfish id from a single photo. To be certain of this species id you would need the head spine count and gill raker counts & measurements.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Or just feel for the 2 to 10 spines below the eye on the rim of the orbit, hence rougheye.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Or the short gill rakers, hence shortraker. Haha.

    I previously worked as a marine biologist for ~10 yrs up here. In my experience, unless it's something obvious like a China rockfish you always want to look for at least two distinguishing features. Color is really the last thing you look at with rockfish, there are lots of local variations. The best thing the OP could have done to id this particular fish was to take another close up photo looking down on the head. Yelloweyes have rugose head spines, pretty distinctive from any other rockfish.

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    My vote is yelloweye. I caught that fish's little brother, about 12#, last year off of Yakobi Rock. We were fishing for lings in 60' - 80' of water.

    Big_E

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    I don't pretend to be an expert, but having fished all my life widely ranging fisheries, I've gotten pretty good at fish ID. Definitely not a shortraker, and from what I can see of the spines on top of the head, I'm going with rougheye.

    According to the IGFA, the all-tackle world record rougheye is:
    6.69 kg (14 lb 12 oz) Langara Island, British Columbia , Canada 8/18/2007 George Bogen

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    Just compared your picture to a poster of Rockfishes of Alaska from the Sportsman's show and looks like a Yelloweye Rockfish to me.

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    First off, thank you for sharing a great photo. As a fish taxidermist, I enjoy seeing any and all photos of fish and this is a great reference photo and I appreciate you posting it.

    I know a lot of unqualified people always give their opinions on here, but the fish bio above sounds legit and I have mounted and molded many Yelloweyes and this is clearly a Yelloweye to me. Fin rays, dorsal spines. and lateral lines line up and the only distinguishing characteristic that is throwing off the looks is that the smaller fish is rigarmortised with its mouth wide open. I have seen the variance of mandible bone sizes in tons of fish of the same species, so I don't think there is any cause to use that as a sign of being a different classification.

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    Over the last couple of years we have caught 5 or 6 of this darker variety and all have come from depts of less than 100 ft. Never from the 180-250 ft range where we usually target the brighter variety. It could just be coincidence. Has anyone caught this darker variety at the deeper depts?

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