Gopher Rockfish

From 19th Trip: Huge Day Off Laguna Beach

Sebastes carnatus: The Gopher Rockfish has five dark brown oblique bars separated by lighter areas with three or more light patches on the upper body that extend into the dorsal fin and light patches along the lateral line from mid-body to the base of the tail.

The markings of the Gopher Rockfish are identical to those of the Black-and-Gold Rockfish, Sebastes chrysomelas, with species differentiation made by color (brown and creamy white versus black and yellow).

They lack the complete white band along the lateral line that is found in the similar appearing Copper and China Rockfishes, Sebastes caurinus, and Sebastes nebulosus.

The caudal fin of the Gopher Rockfish is straight to slightly concave. It reaches 17 inches in length and is found on the sea bottom in very shallow waters between 40 and 240 feet deep in the water column, in and around kelp forests.

Along the Pacific Coast of North America the Gopher Rockfish ranges from Oregon to Punta San Roque (27.18 degrees north, 114.43 degrees west), in central Baja California.

The Gopher Rockfish is inactive during the day time and becomes a nighttime predator consuming benthic crabs, shrimps and fishes. The Gopher Rockfish is important to the commercial fishery off central California. It is also caught by recreational anglers from shore, skiffs, and party boats.

The Gopher Rockfish is a member of the Scorpaenidae Family and Sebastes Genus.

About the Author

Sean loves to fish in Southern California and this site is his journal of his adventures in fishing. He started fishing when he was a little guy with his dad David, and has continued to this day with his family. In his day job, Sean has been a graphic designer for over 15 years, designing everything from in-store displays and signage for supermarkets to e-commerce auction sites for an online consumer electronics company. He was a web and graphic designer then later an art director for McMullen Argus Publishing (Primedia), building and working on sites for Lowrider Magazine and Super Chevy, plus 30 other automotive magazine sites. Sean seized the opportunity to teach other aspiring designers - a passion that took him first to Learning Tree University and then to Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA, where he has been an integral part of the renowned digital arts department for more than ten years. Throughout his teaching career, Sean maintained a freelance business, designing for clients including the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards), Image Comics and many more. See his work at