- Fish has brown coloration on back with two rows of rectangular white splotches.
- Easily distinguished from other bass due to these white splotches.
- Head is brownish-olive coloration with randomized yellow spots.
- Tail square cut with yellowish coloration.
- First two dorsal spines are short, third and fourth dorsal spines are about twice as long.
- Breeding adult males have an orange-colored chin.
- Occur from Columbia River, Washington to Magdalena Bay, Baja California.
- Common from Point Conception south to central Baja.
- Found in water as deep as 150 feet.
- Live in shallow rocky environments.
- Kelp bass mature between 3-5 years old.
- Spawning usually takes place in or near kelp forests.
- Females might spawn as often as four times a year.
- Mating occurs between May and October, between sunset and several hours after sunset.
- Breeding groups can be up to 200 males and only one female.
- Kelp bass are very active feeders during spawning.
- Small, shrimp-like crustaceans, anchovies, small surfperch, other small fish.
- With increase in size of kelp bass, increase in amount of fish in diet.
- California barracuda, sea bass, kelp bass, marine mammals, large fishes.
- Kelp bass are also called calico bass and are very popular with nearshore recreational anglers.
Sources: California Department Fish and Wildlife; animaldiversity.org; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Bassfishing-gurus.com
Photo: Jeremy Smith