Silvergrays are perhaps the most humble rockfish in the Pacific. They are relatively slim compared to other species, have shorter spines on their back (their Latin name, brevispinis, means “short spine”) and are a dull silver-gray colour, for which they are named. Their only outstanding feature is a protruding lower jaw.
Besides their silvery or tan sides, Silvergrays are green to dark silvery gray on their backs and white to creamy colour on their bellies. The underside of their head and fins show some pinkish colouring. They range from the western Gulf of Alaska to central Baja California. Like most rockfish, their delicate fillets are lean, moist and tender with a mild sweet flavour.
Silvergrays can reach ages of 82 years or more, with both males and females reaching maturity between nine and 16 years of age. Peak periods for mating last from December to February, with normal larval release occurring from about April to August. Mostly found at depths of between 330 and 980 feet (100 and 300 m), in Alaska, juveniles and sub-adults have been found in depths as shallow as 55 feet (17 m). As they mature, however, adults form loose groups with other rockfish and can usuall be found within a few feet off the seafloor. Solitary individuals may sometimes be found resting on the bottom. Silvergrays only grow as long as 29 inches (73 cm), with a maximum published weight of just over 11 lbs (5 kg).
This fishery uses a large cone-shaped net that is dragged along the seafloor to catch fish. As the net is towed at low speed, hydrodynamic forces push two "otter boards" outwards opening the mouth of the net and capturing fish in its path.