Yelloweye Rockfish definitely earn points for living around the deep reefs that also harbor some of the Pacific Ocean’s most voracious predators. Such as Halibut and Lingcod. They are always impressive to see in person. But are usually off limits to fishermen, aside from the Canadian Coast and Alaska.
Yelloweye Rockfish Basics
Scientific Name: Sebastes Ruberrimus
Geographic Range: Alaska to California
Typical Depth: 200′ to 600′
Typical Weight: 5 pounds to 30 pounds
Alaska’s Aleutian Island to California, but as far south as Baja is the primary zone. Anywhere between 200′ to 600′ depths with mega rocky structure can hold Yelloweye. They are one of the longest living of our Pacific Rockfish species. Pacific Halibut don’t even mature until 20 years of age and can live up to 150 years old. They can still be retained as part of your catch in the most remote areas of the North Pacific, such as Alaska.
How to Identify Yelloweye Rockfish
Yelloweye are one of the largest Rockfish species. The body is typically red-orage or red-brown. Eyes are pronounced and yellow. They often have a mouth on them that looks almost Jurassic.
Where Yelloweye Rockfish Live
Yelloweye Rockfish congretate around extremely rocky structure. They are a solitary creature. They do not school like many of the pelagic Rockfish such as Yellowtail, Black and Blue. Yelloweye are non-pelagic. They can live their entire life on one rock.
They are one of the Rockfish species most in need of protection. Due to the fact that they take so long to mature and can live to a ripe old age. They are completely off limits to retention along the California, Oregon and Washington Coastlines. I have kept a couple throughout my Alaska guiding experience a couple years back. However, I think they should be considered too special to retain nowadays.