A bank rockfish sits atop a vase sponge in Soquel Canyon, Monterey Bay.
Taken from the Delta submersible during the 2008 IMPACT cruise to determine baseline fish abundances inside and outside new marine protected areas off central California.
Date: October 2008
Contact: SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division, Habitat Ecology Team
Bank rockfish (Sebastes rufus) are oval-shaped fish with small head spines. They can be brown, black-brown, pinkish brown, or nearly white, and are often covered with black spots. The pectoral, anal, and soft dorsal fin membranes are black, and many individuals have white saddle marks running down the back. A reliable character is the pink-orange or orange stripe along the lateral line, and there is a noticeable "<" mark behind the eye.
Banks are found from British Columbia to central Baja California, and live in depths between 31 and 454 meters. They are taken commercially with trawl and gillnet, with most of the catch from California. Banks are a frequent catch of recreational anglers in deepwater off southern California.
Alternate common name: Red widow, bank perch, Florida.
Maximum size: 55.2 cm (21.7 inches).
Maximum age: At least 85 years.
From: The Rockfishes of the Northeast Pacific, by M.S. Love, M. Yoklavich, and L. Thorsteinson. University of California Press, 2002.