Treefish (Rockfish)

From 23rd Trip: 1/2 Day Afternoon on the Icon 8/8/09

Name: Treefish

Family: Sebastes serriceps

The Treefish has a compact body with large head spines, and it comes in two distinctive color patterns. Juvenile Treefish have a yellow body with at least six black stripes and fins tipped in white and iridescent blue. As the Treefish matures, the stripes and colors become less prominent, gradually fading to a dark olive.

The Treefish has two identifying and characteristic dark bands running obliquely running from the eyes to the pectoral fins. Adult Treefish also have large fleshy pink lips which are viewed as a protective device. The Treefish has rounded anal, caudal, and pectoral fins. Due to its yellow coloration, unique stripes, and red lips, the Treefish is not easily confused with other rockfishes.

Body color: Dark olive above, yellowish below; sides of body w/ 5-6 distinct, vertical, black-olive bands; lips tinged w/ pink; anal fin dark.

Habitat: Treefish prefer very rocky terrain with many large holes and crevices. When visiting the islands tree fish prefer the man made rock quarries and break walls.  In natural habitats you will find them in the lush kelp in crevices.

Maximum length: 16 in

Peritoneum color: light

Maximum depth: 25 fm (46 m)

Common depth: <22 fm (<40 m)

Distribution: Northern California – Baja California

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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