Rockfish are one of the most underrated fish in Alaska both for the fun of catching and the delicious tender fillets. Once considered a trash-fish, they are now known as a delicacy to most locals. One of my families favorite meals is fresh rockfish tacos!
Quick facts about rockfish:
- There are 2 different categories of rockish that we frequently catch:
- Pelagic rockfish (Black rockfish, yellowtail, dusky)
- Non-Pelagic rockfish (Quillbacks, Yelloweye, copper etc)
- Rockfish regulations have changed as we become more aware of the fishes lifecycle and the harm fishermen can cause by releasing these fish on the surface after bringing them up from depth (barotrauma, it looks like a tongue sticking out of the fishes mouth but it is actually there air-bladder).
- Current regulations for SE Alaska where we fish are 1 a day per person for Non-Pelagic rockfish and 5 a day per person for Pelagic rockfish.
- Charter vessels (hopefully all fishing boats in the near future) have to use a Deep Water Release when releasing rockfish. This device allows the fish to re-pressurize at depth and greatly increases the survival rate.
Here is more information from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game: ROCKFISH!