The Quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger) (also known as the Quillback seaperch) is one of 130 species of rockfish and primarily dwells in salt water reefs. The average adult weighs 2-7 pounds (0.9 – 3 kg) and may reach 1 m (3 feet) in length. Quillback rockfish are named for the sharp, venomous quills or spines on the dorsal fin. Their mottled orange-brown coloring allows them to blend in with rocky bottom reefs. They are solitary and minimally migratory, but not territorial, and give birth to live young (viviparous). They are a popular sport fish, generally caught in cold water 41–60 m deep, but also to subtidal depths of 275 m. Quillback rockfish live along the Pacific coast from the Gulf of Alaska to the northern Channel Islands of Southern California. Like other rockfish species, quillbacks live on the bottom, perching on rocks or hiding in rock crevices. The juveniles stay mainly along the shore, in reefs, sand and eelgrass, while the adult rockfish live in the deeper waters. They are for the most part solitary dwellers, rarely being found in groups. They are rarely found in the open ocean, generally preferring to stay close to kelp, rocks, coral, or lodged in crevices or holes. Despite this, they are not territorial. High densities tend to coincide with peak plant growth. They occupy a variety of habitats in many different areas on the west coast of North America.

quillback_rockfish.txt · Last modified: 2014/02/07 14:45 by grinder
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