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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 19:30 EDT

Gopher Rockfish

The Gopher Rockfish (Sebastes carnatus) is a species of fish found along the Pacific coast, primarily off California. They are known from as far north as Cape Blanco in Oregon, down to Punta San Roque in southern Baja California. They can be found in the intertidal zone(an area between the low tide and high tide marks), but mostly occur at depths of 60 to 65 feet. They live in crevices and holes during the day, and venture further out at night to feed on benthic crustaceans, cephalopods, and some types of fish. They are territorial and defend an area up to 40 square feet.

They have a mottled appearance, with dark areas commonly olive to reddish-brown, and lighter areas being white or pink. There are almost always three light patches on the upper back that extend to the dorsal fins. The lighter areas become more extensive around the ventral region. They grow to about 15.75 inches.

Gopher Rockfish are closely related to the Black-and-yellow Rockfish (S. chrysomelas). Both are genetically identical and may often represent a single species with two color morphs.

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Gopher Rockfish