Rockfish on the Pacific Coast.
Part of the large Scorpaenidae family of fish spread worlwide, Rockfish are an abundant fish on the West Coast of Canada.
Though once more plentiful, it is hard to do a dive in the Emerald Seas or British Columbia and not see some representation of this family of fish. Many rockfish are very long lived and can attain a fairly hefty size, some up to one meter long. They are generally a bottom dweller, often hiding amoung rocks and reefs, but some are midwater fish that form large schools. One of the characteristic features of rockfish are the dorsal, pelvic and anal fins equipped with very sharp spines that contain a trace of mildly toxic venom. Though not as toxic as their tropical couterparts (Stonefish and Lionfish), a jab from these spines can still be very uncomfortable. This last year (2016) saw a massive recruitment of rockfish juveniles. Parts of the coast where I dove this year were literally filled with rockfish babies of various species. See my recent blog post here for more on this story. I was also fortunate to dive on some very remote reefs off the West Coast of Vancouver Island and witness numbers of mature rockfish like I have not seen before. Several of the photos in this gallery show five or six species of mature rockfish in a single frame. In all I have photographs of 14 species so far. For an album of all other cold water fish go here.
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