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Blue Rockfish Sebastes mystinus


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Blue Rockfish
credit: Stan Shebs,/CCSA

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Family: Scorpaenidae, Scorpionfishes view all from this family

Description The blue rockfish, Sebastes mystinus, is a rockfish of the Pacific coast found from Alaska to Baja California.

Blue rockfish have a relatively smooth and oval appearance compared to other members of Sebastes, with very few head spines. Color is a bluish black to gray, with some darker mottling, including a pair of stripes angling down and back from the eye. The terminal mouths are small for rockfish. Length ranges up to 55 to 60 cm, and weights up to 3.8 kg.

They occur from Sitka Strait in the north to Punta Santo Tomas in Baja, most commonly along Oregon and northern California (records of blue rockfish in the western Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea probably refer to the related dusky rockfish.) While they have been caught at depths of over 500 m, most live near to the surface, down to 90 m.

Dimensions Up to 21" (53 cm).

Warning The dorsal and anal fins contain mildly venomous spines.

Habitat Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Ocean or bay shallows, Open ocean, Tidepools.

Range California, Northwest, Western Canada, Alaska.