SIZE: 2-24 in. max 28 1/2 in
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Large, pale oval to rectangular blotches on back. 2. First two spines of foredorsal fin short, spines three to five are of nearly equal length.
Back and sides mottled in solid shades of brown, belly pale. Tail square-cut. Common to occasional S. California, rare to the north.
SIZE: 8-14 in. max. 17 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Yellow speckles on head and body. 2. Yellow stripe from foredorsal fin curves to run length of lateral line.
Bluish black to black with yellow spots and blotches. Common SE Alaska through Oregon on exposed coasts. Occasional to rare N. California.
SIZE: 6-12 in. max. 15 1/4 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Bright yellow spots and blotches over black undercolor. 2. Yellow membrane between third and fourth dorsal fin spines.
Two dark diagonal bands extend from lower eye. Common central and southern California.
SIZE: 6-18 in. max. 2 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. High spinous dorsal fin with deep notches between spines. 2. Large areas or blotches of white to yellow on and below spinous dorsal fin on front half of body.
Orangish brown to dark brown; often pale area between eye and pectoral fin. Common SE Alaska to N. California; uncommon central California.
SIZE: 10-16 in. max. 22 1/2 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Wide, whitish stripe runs along rear half of lateral line. 2. Prominent dark bands slopes downward from eye.
Patches of copper to yellow, orange, pink, brown, greenish brown over pale undercolor; belly white; fins pale. Common South. B.C. to S. California.
SIZE: 3-6 in. max. 7 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: Brownish orange to reddish brown. 1. Often dusky stripe runs from above pectoral fin down side toward base of tail 2. Thin, pale lateral line.
Pinkish to white underside. Center of tail dusky. Common southern half of BC and Puget Sound.
SIZE: 8-18 in. max. 21 1/2 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Vague dusky to dark blotch on rear gill cover.
Mottled and blotched shades of tan to coral to brown; pectoral and foredorsal fins usually pale coral to tan. common to occasional Puget Sound to southern California.
SIZE: 6-14 in. max. 16 3/4 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: No distinctive markings.
Mottled shades of tan to brown to greenish brown, occasionally with pinkish tints; can change color. Common southern and central California; occasional to uncommon northern California.
SIZE: 8-18 in. max. 2 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: Mottled and blotched with black to blue-black and gray. 1. Small knob at tip of slightly projecting lower jaw that extends to or past eye. 2. Rear edge of anal fin rounded.
Back generally dark, often lighter shades below lateral line. Forehead profile convex. Often gather in large schools with other rockfish. Abundant to occasional Alaska to S. California.
SIZE: 8-18 in. max 21 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: Mottled blue-black to bright blue. 1. Two to four bands curve around front of head. 2. Sloping band from the eye toward the pectoral fin with a smaller band below. 3. Rear edge of anal fin strait and slanted.
Back dark, generally paler below; fins blackish. Slightly projecting jaw extends only to midpoint of eye. Often gather in large schools with other rockfish. Common central California north to central BC; uncommon S. California.
SIZE: 6-14 in. max 16 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: Bright to dusky yellow. 1. Five to six wide black to dark olive body bars across back and base of tail.
Two dark bands angle from eye toward pectoral fin. Pink lips. Common to occasional S. California, uncommon to rare north to San Francisco.
SIZE: 16-30 in. max 39 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Short cirrus centered near tip of snout. 2. Prominent cirrus above each eye. 3. Notch in spinous dorsal fin after third or forth spine.
Marbled earthtones; can change color. Unscaled bulbous head and stout body. Common S. California and north to southern BC.
SIZE: 2-3 in. max 4 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Red markings, often encircle a dark spot on first two dorsal fin segments. 2. Broad band of scales between dorsal fin and lateral line. 3. Small cirri on snout and larger ones between eyes, especially on males.
Mottled, spotted and blotched earthtone shades; usually several saddle markings on back. Abundant Alaska and Washington, occasional to rare to S. California.
SIZE: 1 1/2 - 4 in. max. 6 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Black eye. 2. Black edge on dorsal fin.
Dark to pale tan. Common S. California to central BC.
SIZE: 3/4 - 2 in. max. 2 1/2 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: Brilliant red. 1. Four to nine electric-blue bars.
Foredorsal fin tall, especially in males. Rear body bars thinner. Abundant to common S. and central California.
SIZE: 6-16 in. max. 2 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Elongated head with pointed, slightly upturned snout. 2. Forked tail (all other kelpfish have rounded tail).
Color and markings vary greatly, includes shades of yellow. Common S. California, rare to the north.
SIZE: 2 - 3 1/2 in. max. 4 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Foredorsal fin same height as soft dorsal and first few spines have flexible bent tips. 2. Rays of raised rear dorsal fin evenly spaces. 3. Pale rounded blotch extends onto cheek from lower rear quarter of eye.
Blotched, barred and striped in shades of red to maroon, lavender, orange, tan; tiny white to pale spots cover body; color change to match background. Abundant around islands in S. California; occasional coastal areas in S. California.
SIZE: 4-6 in. max. 10 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Five to six bold, dark (usually red) bars encircle fins and body. 2. Pointed snout. 3. Two pair of cirri - one above each eye and another midway between eyes and dorsal fin.
Undercolor pale, red bars often shaded with brown. Mature males often turn nearly black during winter mating season. Occasional southern California to BC.
SIZE: 10-18 in. max. 2 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: MALE: 1. Blue irregular spots on head and forebody, outlined by a few small, dark reddish brown spots. FEMALE: 2. Speckled with red-brown to gold spots over bluish white, fins generally yellow.
Pair of small cirri above eyes and another tiny pair between eyes and dorsal fin. Five lateral lines. Abundant to common Alaska to central California, rare S. California.
SIZE: 1 1/2 - 3 1/2 ft. max 5 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Large mouth with prominent canine teeth. 2. Long, even spinous dorsal separated by notch just before soft rear dorsal.
Numerous dark spots and several darkish blotches. Can lighten and darken with background. After mating, males guard masses of white eggs; guarding males often dark black. Occasional Alaska through California.