Sebastes Entomelas

Sebastidae

Scorpaeniformes

offshore reefs, rocky areas

5 pounds

12" - 24"

Widow Rockfish 

Also Known As: Rockfish  

Widow Rockfish (Sebastes entomelas) Fish Description

A Widow Rockfish has an elongated, compressed body with a short head, small mouth, and curved upper profile. Its body is brassy brown, and its belly is of lighter hue with a reddish cast, while its anal and pectoral fins are black. The smaller Widow Rockfish has a lighter color with streaks of orange.

This fish matures when it reaches four years old. By that age, it can measure as long as 12.75 in. Some grow faster at three years old. This fish is also a known prey for bigger fishes like sablefish, Pacific Halibut, Sperm Whale, and even the Seabird.

 

Diet and Size

A young Widow Rockfish feeds on copepods, calanoids, and euphausiids, while the adult feeds on anchovies, salps, and small squids. 

A mature widow rockfish is usually 16.5 inches long and can grow up to 24 in. A male Widow Rockfish grows faster than its female counterpart, but the females reach larger sizes in the long run. 

 

Interesting Facts About the Widow Rockfish

  • A Widow Rockfish have air bladders allowing them to float motionless in the water.
  • This fish can live up to 60 years, though rather a rare occasion.
  • A female Widow Rockfish develops and nourishes its eggs internally. Its larvae are released alive between January and February.
  • Their meat has a lean, medium-fine texture and a delicate nutty flavor.
  • The Widow Rockfish goes out at the shallows at night for their feeding time.
     

Habitat and Distribution

The Widow Rockfish is commonly found from Todos Santos Bay in Baja, California, to the Middle Albatross Bank along Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. Adult Widow Rockfishes are most abundant in Northern California and British Columbia.

Although they are mostly found in waters as deep as 462 to 693 feet, this fish species' adults are often caught in depths between 80 to 1,812 ft. They dwell mostly over rocky areas and offshore reefs, especially during the night.

A single female Widow Rockfish can produce 95,000 to up more than a million eggs in a year. Its spawning season depends on its location. Those off in the southern seas of California release their larvae between December and March, while those of British Columba release around May.

 

Fishing Technique: How to Catch a Widow Rockfish

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