Rockfish of Alaska
June 9, 2017
Rockfish of Ketchikan Alaska
Jan proudly displays a giant rockfish — caught at the “secret spot” in Ketchikan Alaska

Rockfish is a common term for several species of fish, named for their affinity to hide among rocks. Specific examples of fish termed rockfish in the waters surrounding Ketchikan, Alaska include:

  • China
  • Longspine Thonryhead
  • Northern
  • Pygmy
  • Quillback
  • Redstripe
  • Rougheye
  • Shortspine Thornyhead
  • Splitnose
  • Yelloweye

Jeff Says: Find a pinnacle or a ledge ranging from 50-250′ deep and drop down a herring or bounce a jig but be careful to not drag your hooks along the bottom or you’ll just catch the rock and not the fish!

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Rockfishes of Alaska (Download Poster)

For the purposes of sport fishery management, rockfish are divided into two groups, pelagic and non-pelagic. Bag and possession limits differ for the two groups in many areas, so it is important to be able to distinguish them. This chart shows the most common species in each group.

Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) Rockfish Identification Chart (Download Poster)

Learn more about fishing for rockfish in Ketchikan, Alaska.