Fun Copper Rockfish Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 15, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Here are some amazing copper rockfish facts.

The copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus), also known as the copper seaperch, is a type of fish belonging to the family Sebastidae, consisting of rockfish, rock perch, rock cod, and other fishes. The copper rockfish has two different types of color variations depending on the northern and southern location of their populations.

This fish enjoys a long life length of up to 40 years.

The usual habitat for both male and female adults tends to be in the deeper end of sea reefs and near rocks.

However, the choice of habitat for juveniles tends to be a shallow coastal bay, kelp beds, and rocky areas near the sea surface. The unique identification of this fish is that their body is similar to marine rocks.

This feature also helps juvenile fishes and the young to remain protected in shallow water. You may spot the fish on the vast east coast of the Pacific Ocean, and the range tends to be from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California, Mexico.

This species of fish is also popularly considered gamefish and is caught by pier anglers.

Keep on reading to know more copper rockfish facts, and do check out our articles on monkfish and rainbow trout facts.

Copper Rockfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a copper rockfish?

The copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) is a species of fish that is in the Sebastidae family found in Baja California and other areas along the Pacific coast.

What class of animal does a copper rockfish belong to?

This rockfish belongs to the class Actinopterygii that contains everything from yellowfin tuna to sharks. Copper rockfish are one of the 100 types of rockfish present in this world.

How many copper rockfishes are there in the world?

The population of this species is not yet known. As copper rockfish are popularly caught while fishing and are eaten frequently, there has been a decline in the population. Both the population of adults and juveniles have suffered due to recent changes in the climate.

Where does a copper rockfish live?

The copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) population distribution is mainly exclusive to the coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean, from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California, the coasts of northern Mexico. You can find populations of this fish in southeast Alaska and in piers of northern Washington and Seattle.

What is a copper rockfish's habitat?

As juveniles, they reside in shallow kelp beds or shallow rocky areas present throughout the length of the coasts of California. Once they grow big into adults, they start going to darker areas of the ocean with a depth of approximately 33-600 ft (10-183 m) in coastal bays.

These fishes may also reside by rocks and among reefs as well as in artificial areas like jetties and docks. Their main habitat regions tend to be saltwater and marine environments.

Who do copper rockfish live with?

They are known to be solitary fishes, and this species loves to live on their own. However, sometimes they may tag along and make a small school and search to settle in dwellings like jetties or docks.

How long does a copper rockfish live?

The copper rockfish is said to age really well and live the longest for around 40 years old. One fish has also managed to live to 55 years old. This fish was also recorded to be the oldest copper rockfish to date.

How do they reproduce?

Like other rockfish species, the copper rockfish is also viviparous and directly spawns baby fishes. The adult copper rockfish has a gestation of around 10 months.

Females swim up close to coastal shores and give birth to the young in the shallow water found in areas like kelp beds or rocky areas. The reproduction time varies geographically as well as on the coastal conditions. It is said that spawning takes place around the early spring, which is mostly in months from February to May.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status is still unknown and is yet to be figured out by the officials. It is listed as Not Evaluated by the IUCN. Recently, there have been some red flags raised regarding the lives of rockfish in general as it is caught as a gamefish.

Copper Rockfish Fun Facts

What does copper rockfishes look like?

The copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) exists in a variety of sizes and colors. The colors that this specific rockfish seems to have are dark brown, orange, olive, white, pink, and yellow.

The most common color palette of this fish consists of a white belly with orange and copper stripes or blotches occupying the whole of the fish from head to toe. In some cases, the colors may shift to yellow or pink.

Apart from its moderate length, this fish also has a large head.

Two-thirds of the rear lateral line is light pink, while the dorsal fins seem to have dark brown with some copper, black, and white. This bright white or pale lateral line helps to differentiate between a gopher vs. copper rockfish.

The soft-colored parallel line along the lateral line often stands out when you look at the fish by the coast or near jetties.

Due to similar features, the copper rockfish is often confused with other rockfish species.

With geographical changes in the Pacific Ocean, the colors of copper rockfish seem to differ such as, the species of this fish present in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean have the color palette of brown or yellow blotches with a white belly, and in the southern coast they have yellow or pink mixed with olive.

The young and juveniles are born with the same color scheme but just smaller in size.

How cute are they?

These colorful fishes may look cute and adorable when the fish has bright colors, but at times some might find its broad body makes it an average-looking fish. One might even confuse them for just a rock under the surface of water or near jetties.

How do they communicate?

This species of fish has a unique way of communicating with each other by producing sound with the help of the swimbladder and other surrounding muscles present. They use this trait as a way to show defense over their territory in the home range.

How big is a copper rockfish?

The average body length range of a copper rockfish is around 23 in (58 cm). In comparison, a kelp rockfish has a body length that measures around 9-17 in (20-43 cm).

How fast can a copper rockfish swim?

The data for this information is yet to be calculated.

How much does a copper rockfish weigh?

The average weight of the copper rockfish is within the range of 3-9 lb (1.3-4 kg). The record weight of the largest fish of this species is set at around 10 lb (4.5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to either a male or female copper rockfish.

What would you call a baby copper rockfish?

A baby copper rockfish is referred to as a larva or fry.

What do they eat?

The normal diet of a copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) includes small organisms such as crabs, shrimps, small crabs, snails, fishes, octopuses, and worms. More crabs are caught during winter and early spring. The larvae tend to feed on planktonic crustaceans.

Are they dangerous?

These fishes are not dangerous to humans and are frequently caught for consumption. However, some rockfish species, such as the quillback rockfish, are known to have poisonous spines.

Would they make a good pet?

They are mainly seen in the oceans rather than in captivity.

Did you know...

Adults are also seen around wharves.

They have the funky characteristic of jagged dorsal fins with two smaller fins by the tail.

The maturation period for males ranges from three to seven years while their female counterpart matures between four to eight years of age.

Once the rockfish has chosen its nest or home for life, they usually do not travel more than a mile.

What's the difference between a vermilion rockfish and copper rockfish?

The identification differences of the vermilion rockfish vs. copper rockfish are pretty obvious. The first one is the color as the vermilion rockfish is bright red or deep orange with gray mottling, while the rockfish copper has brown, yellow, pink blotches on its body.

As you look closely, you will see that the tips of the former fish's tail are slightly rounded and is in a bit of a v shape, while the latter has a simple rounded tail.

A major identification mark for the rockfish copper is the lateral line that appears to be pale pink or white in the rear two-thirds, while the vermilion rockfish lacks this line.

The vermilion also has a mouth that jutted out with scales on it. The characters of both these fishes are not that clear as it has not been studied yet.

What survival mechanisms do copper rockfishes have?

To keep themselves and their young and juveniles protected, the rockfish copper chooses to give birth as well as live the rest of their lives near rocky areas near the coast, which helps them conceal their identity from the rest of the organisms.

They also try creating their homes in the depth of the ocean with rocks, reefs, and dark interiors as a way of camouflaging themselves with their surroundings.

These fishes also produce a unique sound that helps them communicate with peers, and it also acts as a defense mechanism to ward off arriving threats.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our Siamese fighting fish facts and cuttlefish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable copper rockfish coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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