The Yellowtail Rockfish can be found in the Northeast Pacific, from San Diego, California to Unalaska Island, Alaska. It is generally found over deep reefs from the surface to depths of 1800 feet. Rockfish possess an organ known as a lateral line; this organ is slightly lighter in colour than the rest of the body of the fish, and is used to sense movement, vibration, and possibly magnetic changes in the water.
The Yellowtail Rockfish is greyish brown on the top of the body, fading to white on the belly. Its sides are spotted with yellow; its tail is a solid yellow and its other fins are a muted yellow. It has a lower jaw that projects somewhat from the head of the fish. The body is elongate and compressed with light rose-coloured flesh. Yellowtail Rockfish is often enjoyed baked in butter with lemon and herbs.
Yellowtail Rockfish form schools in open water along steeply sloping shores or above rocky reefs. They are also known to hide in cracks and crevices of the sea floor. Juvenile Yellowtail Rockfish are found around floats and dock pilings. These fish feed on crustaceans, smaller fish and squid. Yellowtail Rockfish are viviparous, which means a female will give birth to live young that have developed inside her body. Yellowtail Rockfish have a slow growth rate; they are sexually mature at 11-15 years or 41-45 cm in length.
Hook and Line Troll
This fishery uses hooks, lures and lines, trailed behind vessels at low speed, to catch salmon. Each salmon is individually hooked and hauled aboard by hand.