June 27, 2015 Duane Foerter0

Hello Fish “Fin-atics”,

Have you ever wondered what the difference between yelloweye, black and quillback rockfish might be?

Well, they are all good eats, they do have that in common! These fish are normally found near rocky bottoms, so they can hide in the nooks and crannies of the ocean floor.

Yelloweye rockfish, also known (incorrectly) as red snapper, are the largest of the rockfish and can grow to 36 inches. These delicious fish can actually live up to 115 years old! You can identify these rockfish by the yellow coloring in their eye and their vibrant deep orange colour. We typically catch them only when fishing for halibut in water over 170 feet deep. Unfortunately the pressure change from reeling them in when caught causes their swim bladder to expand and they rarely survive release so be sure to add them to your catch.

Black rockfish (sometimes called sea bass or black bass) are the most popular rockfish we see at the scale. These little guys are found swimming in deep water but leave their habitat from the rocky bottoms to feed. The lifespan of these fish is around 50 years. They are dark neutral grey in color and are typically 12 to 16 inches long. They don’t get any bigger than 10 lbs. The firm white flesh of black rockfish is delicious any way it’s prepared and is especially good as sashimi!

Lastly, Quillback rockfish, these rockfish are named after their sharp, venomous quills or spines on the dorsal fin, so beware of that spikey spine! Though we rarely see them larger than 12 inches in length the small filets are delicious deep-fried!

These three rockfish may have different characteristics to pin-point the type of rockfish they might be, but they all have similar flesh; they have white, flaky meat with a delicate flavor. The best way to cook these fish would be to pan fry them or enjoy them as fish & chips!

Hope to catch you all at the scale,