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Sebastes Alutus

Sebastidae

Scorpaeniformes

Offshore

2 - 5 pounds

10" - 21"

Pacific Ocean Perch Game Fish Quality Very Good
Pacific Ocean Perch Meal Quality Excellent
Pacific Ocean Perch Fly Fishing Quality Very Good

Pacific Ocean Perch

Pacific Ocean Perch
Also Known As: Rockfish, Red  Bream, Pacific Rockfish, Red Perch

Pacific Ocean Perch (Sebastes alutus) Fish Description

Also known as rockfish, red bream, Pacific rockfish, or red perch the Pacific Ocean Perch (POP) is a tasty and healthy seafood choice. It has a sweet-tasting and firm flesh with low oil content.

The POP’s body is compressed and has dark markings on the upper part; its color ranges from bright brick red to light red. The Pacific Ocean Perch may have some dark blotches on its caudal fin. Its jaw has a remarkable cone-shaped knob pointing forward. It has 13 dorsal spines with around 14-17 dorsal soft rays. It has 3 anal spines with 6-9 anal soft rays. The Pacific Ocean Perch may have some olive patches near the upper body.

The Pacific Ocean Perch highly resembles sharpchin, redstripe, and yellowmouth rockfishes. To distinguish, the sharpchin rockfish is more orange in color and possesses an indented feature near the eyes, and a second anal spine longer than the third — features not found in POPs. On the other hand, the yellowmouth has black or yellow blotches in its mouth and has a less prominent knob on its lower jaw.

 

Diet and Size

Pacific Ocean Perch larvae feed on zooplankton, whereas the juveniles and adults feed on krill, copepods, and small fishes. POPs school together and feed in the water column. Sadly, the Pacific Ocean Perch may fall prey to large benthic fishes like sperm whales, halibut, and sablefish.

The Pacific Ocean Perch measures up to 21 inches long and weighs about 5 pounds. Its maximum age is at least 100 years old.
 

Interesting Facts About the Pacific Ocean Perch 

  • The female Pacific Ocean Perch can produce 10,000 to 300,000 eggs depending on its size.
  • Since it takes time for the Pacific Ocean Perch to grow, they only reproduce once they reach around 10 years of age.
  • This species of fish may live up to more than a century!
  • The raw flesh of the Pacific Ocean Perch is white but it turns opaque once cooked.

 

Fishing Techniques

The Pacific Ocean Perch is usually fished using the trawl method but some habitats are protected against this technique. The good news for anglers is that this species is available for commercial and recreational fishing all-year-round, the peak season being July to August. Under U.S. regulations, the Pacific Ocean Perch is responsibly managed and harvested. There are regulations to avoid the bycatch of POPs.

The Pacific Ocean Perch is reported to be not overfished in areas where they are aplenty like the Bering Sea, Pacific Coast, Aleutian Islands, and the Gulf of Alaska.

 

Habitat and Distribution

The Pacific Ocean Perches are primarily located offshore with depths ranging from 490 feet to 2,700 feet. Mature members of this fish species prefer the shallower depths during summer (from 490 to 1000 feet). During fall, they migrate to even deeper offshore areas and stay there until around May.

They are abundant on the coast of California and the Western Aleutian Islands in Alaska. They also swim the waters of (Honshu) Japan, British Columbia, and the Bering Sea.