The Canary Rockfish is one of the most photogenic bottomfish in the Pacific Ocean. Their vivid coloring mesmerizes me every time.
For many years, Canary Rockfish were a species of concern. But recently, they have been on a huge rebound. In certain marine areas in Washington State, we can even keep them as part of our daily Rockfish limit!
Canary Rockfish Basics
Scientific Name: Sebastes Pinniger
Geographic Range: Alaska to California
Typical Depth: 50′ to 200′
Typical Weight: 1 pound to 6 pounds
The North Pacific Coast is the central range for Canary Rockfish. Primarily from Southern California to the Gulf of Alaska. Washington’s Pacific Coastline offers the highest concentration of this species. British Columbia, Oregon and Northern California also host a fair number of Canary Rockfish. They live in 50 to 400 foot depths. They feed on forage fish like Herring and Anchovies.
How to Identify Canary Rockfish
Canary Rockfish have a yellow eye and their body color is primarily orange, but mottled with yellow highlights. They basically look like a saltwater Goldfish. Based on this description, they are similar to a Yelloweye Rockfish, but typically have a sleek build and lighter in coloration compared to Yelloweyes.
Where Canary Rockfish Live
Like most Rockfish species, Canaries live around rocky structure such as reefs and rocky pinnacles in the Pacific Inshore. But they aren’t always caught right on the structure, they will move up the water column if a school of herring is nearby.
These fish are slow to mature, and can live up to 80 years old. If you are in an area where they are not plentiful enough to retain, please use a descending device to safely release them.