Skip to main content

Tiger rockfish

Sebastes negrocinctus

Description: The Tiger rockfish (Sebastes negrocinctus), named for its striped body, varies in color from pinkish-red to brown, with five or more dark vertical bars. Dark bars also radiate from each eye. The large mouth is bordered with pink lips. The dorsal and anal fins are mildly venomous.

Size: The body is large; maximum length is approximately 24 inches (61 cm) and weight can be up to five pounds (2.3 kg). The large impressive body has thirteen defensive dorsal spines.
Behavior: It is quite territorial and solitary, preferring to hide in rocky crevices and caves, and will aggressively defend its space. It can quickly change color if disturbed.

Diet: It feeds on other fish and crustaceans.

Reproduction: This species is viviparous (internal fertilization); bearing live young. They remain in larval stage for approximately two months, then move to the bottom as juveniles. Sexual maturity is based on size; it is believed that females vary between 11-18 inches (27.9-45.7 cm) and males 14-19 inches (35.6-48.3 cm). This means that this slow-growing species may not reach sexual maturity until eight years of age or older – if they survive that long.

Habitat/range: The Tiger rockfish is found in rocky reef habitats at depths between 32 to 820 feet (9.8- 250 m) from the Gulf of Alaska to southern California.

Status: IUCN – Not Evaluated. This is a commercial and sport fishing species.