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Thread: Rockfish I.D.

  1. #1
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Default Rockfish I.D.

    Can someone I.D. this for me?

    Caught in S.E. in about 300'.


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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Looks more like a Rougheye IMO. But what do I know?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think it's a juvenile yelloweye.
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I think it's a juvenile yelloweye.
    I believe you are correct, Paul. The thing that threw me was the black edges on the fins, but younger yelloweye start out that way and gradually become solid orange as the move to deep water. What depth were you fishing when you caught this fish?

    Also, here's a link to some more pics of juvenile yelloweye. http://www.oceanlight.com/yelloweye_rockfish_photo.html

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    I would agree that it is a young yellow eye as well. The smaller ones seem to have the darker edges. More importantly, how did it taste?
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    Every smaller yelloweye I have caught has had a distinct white line along its lateral line, with no blotching on the body whatsoever. I think it is something else.

    The fish on the left is one my buddy got, you can see the white line on it.

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    My vote would be Vermillion Rockfish. I have never caught one in the SE, but I have caught several that looked very much like the photo, particuclarly the overall dark red color and black edged fins, around Mendocino, CA. All the yelloweye I have caught, even the small ones (<16") have been orange, not red, have had the whiite stripe, and very yellow eyes. That looks like a vermillion on the right in FishinHank's picture.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    i think rougheye... maybe.
    don't think it is a yelloweye.
    rockfish are a tough subject, short and soft anal and dorsal spine counts and opercular spine patterns, as well as gillraker counts are crucial when trying to differentiate similar species.
    i passed this on to a guy who knows more than i, i'l let you know what he says ...
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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    It's either a juvenile rougheye or shortraker. The bands radiating from the eye suggest rougheye, but the large pores on the lower jaw are evident in shortrakers. I'm sure everyone noticed that the eye is not yellow.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Before reading everyone else's posts, my first thought was small shortraker. Rougheyes don't usually have the black spots, whereas they're common on shortrakers.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Juvenile rougheye can sometimes have spots/bands radiating from the eye. Due to the pores on the lower jaw, I'm guessing juvenile shortraker. If I could see the mouth/gills it would be much easier to distinguish.
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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Juvenile rougheye is the word from the rockfish expert at F&G here.
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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    I guess it's settled. I'll try to target adults in my future endeavors.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Just fish deeper
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    I would say it is a darkblotched rockfish. A side profile photo could confirm it--they have a deep body and an "H" shaped black marking under the spiny part of the dorsal fin.

  17. #17

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    I'm looking at the rockfish in the regs..page 10..and am wondering if shortrakers, rougheye are in the same non-pelagic group and have the same limits as the yelloweye? They look about the same to me due to my rookieness. I've seen some pics of shortrakers that seem pretty huge compared to the yelloweye I've caught before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyak View Post
    I'm looking at the rockfish in the regs..page 10..and am wondering if shortrakers, rougheye are in the same non-pelagic group and have the same limits as the yelloweye? They look about the same to me due to my rookieness. I've seen some pics of shortrakers that seem pretty huge compared to the yelloweye I've caught before.
    Yes, they are covered by the same limit.
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    This rockfish ID document is a good one to print off and keep on the boat in a ziplock bag.
    http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Publication...M-AFSC-117.pdf

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    This was posted by Vaaler on a different post and I think it is a great source of info on rockfish identification.


    Originally Posted by vaaler
    "This link should work: http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/race/media/...echmemo117.pdf

    The regs are specific to yelloweye, Sebastes ruberrimus. There are several other species that look very similar, but if you know what to look for you can tell them apart. I fish quite a bit around San Francisco, where canary and vermillion rockfish are two common species that can look a lot like a yelloweye. Many people get fined every year because they can't tell the difference. I have some friends that release everything orange to avoid any issues. In southern California the cowcod is similar. In Alaska you can catch shortraker rockfish which also look a lot like yelloweye. Know your regs and know how to ID the fish you catch. http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/race/media/...echmemo117.pdf
    does a pretty good job of pointing out the differences and has decent color pictures too."



    Clearly identifying orange/red rockfish is a difficult task as evidenced by many different answers given by many experienced fishermen.
    As far as I know, Alaska DFG considers shortrakers to be in different group from yelloweyes in that, for nonresidents in SE Alaska outside waters, it is 1 yelloweye vs. 2 shortrakers per year. This was confirmed by DFG after my direct inquiry to them.

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