So here's something I hadn't given conscious thought to (though my subconscious has apparently been hard at work on it) - do different types of deepwater/non-pelagic rockfish have differing ability to recover from barotrauma? Thinking back, we've pulled quillbacks from depths up to 250' with no obvious signs of barotrauma i.e. their eyes weren't bugged out, nor were their air bladders sticking from their mouths, etc. On the other hand, silvergray and yelloweye rockfish that we caught in 80'-90' had everything all blown up.
On our most recent trip, my brother had a couple quillbacks he'd caught which were still quite alive when he got back in, so he put them in a crab pot & suspended it at the dock about 40' down. Next morning, we pulled it up & the fish were frisky, lively & clearly ready to swim away if given the chance; there were no visible signs of barotrauma at all.
I guess the simple way to ask is this: are quillback rockfish sturdier & hardier than other types of rockfish?