Grass Rockfish

Sebastes rastrelliger





Grass rockfish are members of the rockfish family, commercially important in California (3). Unlike most species of rockfish grass rockfish are rather short lived, living to only 23 years old while most rockfish species live to more than 40 years old (3). Grass rockfish are heavy-bodied, sporting a dark green or olive body with a whitish underbelly (2)(4). Their larvae have a very limited dispersal and adult forms are non-migratory, often venturing no more than 1 meter from their home range (1)(4). Grass rockfish are benthic, living in eelgrass, kelp forest, or rocky coastal (1). This species of rockfish have 1 of the shallowest and have a relatively narrow depth range compared to other rockfish (4). Larval daytime feeders, while adults are nocturnal feeders eating crustaceans and fish (4).


(1) Buonaccorsi, V. P., Westerman, M., Stannard, J., Kimbrell, C., Lynn, E., & Vetter, R. D. (2003). Molecular genetic structure suggests limited larval dispersal in grass rockfish, Sebastes rastrelliger. Marine Biology, 145(4), 779-788.

(2) Eschmeyer, W. N., & Herald, E. S. (1983). A field guide to Pacific Coast fishes: North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

(3) Love, M. S., & Johnson, K. (1999). Aspects of the life histories of grass rockfish, Sebastes rastrelliger, and brown rockfish, S. auriculatus, from southern California. Fishery Bulletin, 97(1), 100-109.

(4) Wright, N. (2002). Nearshore Fishery Management Plan (pp. 1-21) (United States, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Marine Region). Sacramento, Calif., CA: California Dept. of Fish and Game, Marine Region.