- Ocean Fishing
- Laws & Regulations
- Marine Protected Areas
- Fish Identification
- Permits & Licenses
- FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
- Marine Life Management & Research
- Marine Region Projects
Main Office: 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100
Monterey, CA 93940
Information: (831) 649-2870, AskMarine@wildlife.ca.gov
In order to abide by sport fishing regulations, recreational anglers must be able to identify their catch. However, differentiating between certain groundfish species, particularly rockfishes, can be difficult. The following guides will provide some basic tips on how to identify several species of finfish. When used in conjunction with the Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet, anglers will be better able to observe the laws that are in place to conserve and rebuild California's living marine resources.
- What Are Groundfish?
This page contains a list of federally managed groundfish species.
- Guide to the Coastal Marine Fishes of California
(Miller & Lea, California Digital Library)
This dichotomous key is for fish identification purposes, using a brief description of color, meristic counts, and body proportions. Any California fish can potentially be keyed to Family, Genus, and Species.
- Canary, Vermilion, Yelloweye Rockfish ID Flyer
This flyer lists identifying features that can be used to differentiate between canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, and vermilion rockfish.
- California Marine Sportfish Identification
The goal of this guide is to help California recreational anglers identify their catch to species level.
- Nearshore Finfish Profiles
Life history information for nearshore rockfishes, cabezon, greenlings, monkeyface prickleback, California scorpionfish (sculpin) and California sheephead
- Alaska Fisheries Science Center Rockfish Guide
Rockfishes (family Scorpaenidae) of the northeast Pacific (California-Mexico border to Alaska).
California Rockfishes and Associated Species
Recognizing the need for a guide to help passengers and crewmembers properly identify rockfish, the Fishery Enhancement and Research Foundation (FERF) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are proud to present California Rockfishes and Associated Species.
Free copies of the guide were being mailed to all permitted sport fishing boats in the state, so look for it posted in the galley or cabin window of your favorite 1/2 day or 3/4 day sport boat the next time you're out. To order copies of the poster, visit www.rockfishid.com.