Physical Description 

  • Light orange, red, or brown body, overlaid with fine, blackish dots around margins of scales. Coloring gives body a honeycomb appearance.
  • 3 to 5 clear whitish blotches on back and orange fins.
  • Compact, squat body shape, covered in spines.
  • Longest Honeycomb rockfish recorded was 10.6 inches.


  • Found from Point Pinos, Monterey County, Central California, to Southern Baja California.


  • Found in water of depths 100-400 feet.
  • Live on or near the bottom.


  • Unlike many other fish that lay eggs, rockfish release live young.


  • Rockfish prey depends on species, and little is known about the honeycomb rockfish diet.
  • Rockfish prey often includes Pacific herring, crabs, shrimp, surfperch, greenlings, and amphipods.


  • Adult rockfish are eaten by larger rockfish, lingcod, sharks, salmon, dolphins, seals and sea lions, seabirds, and river otters.
  • Juvenile and larval rockfish are eaten by siphonophores, chaetognaths, other rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, salmon, marine birds, and porpoises.

Interesting Facts 

  • They are unafraid of humans and can be closely approached with slow, nonthreatening movements.
  • They release live young rather than laying eggs like many other fish.


Sources: Eschmeyer et al. 1983;; NOAA NMFS; Biology and Ecology of Venomous Marine Scorpionfishes; Encyclopedia of Puget Sound;; Wourms 1991

Photo:Kevin Lee