Fun Kelp Bass Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
May 01, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde
Kelp Bass facts about the bony fish that lives in Kelp forest.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

The Kelp Bass species of Paralabrax clathratus is also known as Bull bass and calico bass. It was discovered by Girard from San Diego, California. It is a species of Sea Bass.

This species is found from Southern California to Baja California. On the California coast, they are found at depths of 0-200 ft (0-30.5 m). Their population has vanished from Point Conception in California due to extensive marine fishing.

They are a notable part of the human diet. Every year at least 800,000 Calico Bass are caught by private boats and marine fishing industries. A very unique color change is observed in this species when they are spawning.

Read on for some of the most interesting facts about the Kelp Bass. Afterward, do check our other articles on the Nassau Grouper and Billfish as well.

Kelp Bass Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Kelp Bass?

A Kelp Bass (Paralabrax clathratus) is a fish. They are brown to olive green colored fish with a very big mouths.

What class of animal does a Kelp Bass belong to?

A Kelp Bass belongs to the fish class of animals. Their scientific name is Paralabrax clathratus. It is a shallow sea fish.

How many Kelp Bass are there in the world?

Biologists do not have an estimate of the total number of Kelp Bass in the world. This tells us that their population is abundant and nowhere near extinction.

Where does a Kelp Bass live?

A Kelp Bass fish is found at the shore of California. Their range extends from Southern California to Baja California. A Kelp Bass lives in the ocean. They are found in shallow waters of the southern Californian Ocean.

What is a Kelp Bass's habitat?

They take shelter among seaweeds,  kelp forests, and rocky reefs. They do not enter the deeper waters. The adults like to stick to their territory while the juveniles swim away from their territory in search of diet food.

These fishes use kelp forests and other seaweeds as their habitats. They are also found in rocky reefs and rocky artificial structures. They try to find micro-habitats within their habitats for feeding.

Who does Kelp Bass live with?

The Kelp Bass live with other Calico Bass in flocks. Some of the juveniles wander around alone in search of food. They are also found living amongst other shallow-water sea creatures.

How long does a Kelp Bass live?

A Kelp Bass can live as long as 34 years. That is a huge lifespan for a fish their size.

How do they reproduce?

The male Bass Kelp attains sexual maturity between the age of two to four years whereas females become sexually mature between the age range of two and five years old. This species of fish has its spawning ritual.

Around 50-200 Calico Bass gather together at the depths of 26-59 ft (7.9-18 m) during late spring to early autumn for spawning. The males perform spawning displays to get the females’ attention. They nibble at the female's fins and rub themselves against the female's flanks to get her to mate with them.

The color of both the males and females darkens during the mating process. The spawned eggs hatch in 36 hours.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Kelp Bass is Least Concern. Ever since their discovery in California, their population has been abundant even after extensive marine fishing.

Kelp Bass Fun Facts

What does Kelp Bass look like?

Kelp Bass are brown to olive green in color. Their distinguishing feature is multicolored spots on their belly. They have an elongated and compressed body type.

They have a long mouth that extends back up to the central line of the pupil. Calico Bass have a dorsal fin, an anal fin, and a caudal fin with several spines on them. They have spines on the dorsal fins.

The longest of all spines is first in the second dorsal fins. The third, fourth, and fifth spines in the dorsal fins are spines of equal length.

This species is distinguished by its spines in the dorsal fin. They have black, white, and olive green colored patterns on their back, some in the shape of rectangles. The juveniles are brown.

Large Kelp Bass primarily eat small fishes like small surfperch and anchovies.

How cute are they?

Kelp Bass are not cute. They are very ugly-looking fish. They have weird-looking mouths which may appear scary. The color combination of the Calico Bass is not that great either.

How do they communicate?

Kelp Bass has a well-developed communication system. They can change their color according to their sexual status. Deeper, darker colors mean they are ready for mating.

This species of fishes have nares that can detect chemical signals from the water left by their species and others. They have very developed inner ears which can detect vocal signals very well. Besides that, they have a lateral line system that is capable of sensing water pressure and vibrations which gives them a clue about outside species' presence.

How big is a Kelp Bass?

The Kelp Bass has an elongated body. That is why they are longer. A Bass Kelp can grow up to 14 in (35.6 cm) long.

How fast can a Kelp Bass swim?

Very little to no information is available about the speed of Kelp Bass. Scientists and mariners have not yet had a chance to determine how fast a Bass Kelp can swim in its habitat.

But considering that the Calico Bass prey on smaller fishes they should have a very good speed since catching smaller fishes requires agility and fast speed.

How much does a Kelp Bass weigh?

Calico Bass can have a maximum weight of 8-8.4 lb (3.6-3.8 kg). They offer a good flesh quantity and hence are used as a food source.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names assigned to the males and females of the Kelp Bass species. They are known as males and females respectively.

What would you call a baby Kelp Bass?

Kelp Bass is called larvae just after being hatched. After growing a little they are referred to as juveniles.

What do they eat?

The diet of adult and juvenile Kelp Bass is varied. The juveniles feed on zooplankton, small benthic invertebrates, small crustaceans, brittle stars, small fishes, and others. While the adults feed on zooplankton, cephalopods, large fishes, and large crustaceans.

Are they dangerous?

Kelp Bass are not dangerous to humans. They are predatory fishes but they do not harm humans voluntarily. They stick to their diet.

Would they make a good pet?

Kelp Bass are usually just for consumption purposes.

Did you know...

Regular anglers can be used while fishing for Kelp Bass.

Can you eat Kelp Bass?

Kelp Bass have low oil content which is healthy for a human diet. They taste very good. People all over the world prefer eating Bull Bass raw as well as cooked.

Catching Kelp Bass

The best way for fishing Kelp Bass is to use a weedless lure with anglers. As their habitat contains a lot of weeds a different lure during marine fishing quickly catches their attention.

The lure should be placed in open spaces with anglers where there are fewer kelp forests below. Kelp Bass swim through the kelp and grab the lure. Once hooked to the anglers, you should not let them pull the lure since they will go and hide between the kelp.

It becomes difficult to free them up as the anglers get caught. Marine fishing of Kelp Bass is an easy task.

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 Altum Angelfish fun facts, and Sandperch facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Kelp Bass coloring pages.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit Shinde picture

Ankit ShindeBachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit is a Journalism and Mass Media graduate from the University of Mumbai. With experience in SEO, blog and article writing, and fiction writing, he is a versatile writer and content creator. In his free time, Ankit enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music.

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