Here are some curious facts about the yelloweye rockfish that will make your jaw drop.  

Fact #1: Being the world’s longest-lived fish species, this fish typically lives about 120 years. The eldest documented yelloweye rockfish lived to be 147 years old! 

Fact #2: The yelloweye rockfish adult and juvenile were at first thought to be different species due to their difference in coloration. The youths are mostly red with reddish-white stripes along their bellies. However, the adult Yelloweye Rockfish have black fin tips with red backs and orange-yellow sides. As they grow older, their orange fades to pale yellow. 

Fact #3: The yelloweye rockfish gets homesick! This species is known to spend their entire life on a single rock pile. Besides hunting for food, the yelloweye rockfish will only leave its rock home if in danger. 

Fact #4: This is a deep sea fish and will die from decompression if brought to the surface.  

Fact #5: The yelloweye rockfish is considered the world’s largest rockfish with a maximum recorded weight of 11.3 kg and length of 91 cm. 

Fact #6: The female yelloweye rockfish produces 1.2 to 2.7 million eggs per year!  

Fact #7: These fish grow slow and mature late. This is one of the reasons they live longer than many fish species. They reach full maturity and start mating between 15 and 20 years of age. 

Fact #8: They can only be found in the North Pacific Ocean. 

Fact #9: When hatched, young yelloweye rockfish spend their early months in the open ocean. As young yelloweye rockfish mature, they move to deeper waters. 

Fact #10: The Genus name for rockfish, ‘Sebastes’, is derived from ‘Sebastos’, which is Greek for ‘magnificent.’ They are indeed magnificent looking fish with their fantastic colouring and yellow eyes. 

Fact #11: The yelloweye rockfish is suitable for both sweet to savory cooking! They hold up pretty well to just about all cooking recipes and methods. Having a mild taste supports a wide range of dishes. 

Fact #12: The spines found on the head of the yelloweye rockfish are mildly toxic and can cause infection and pain. Be careful when getting your hands on this tasty fish; make sure you have the meat, and not the spine, in your hands. 

Bonus Fact: Red snapper is an entirely different species. Yelloweye rockfish are often mistaken as red snapper in the commercial fisheries and restaurants. Red snapper is found in the Gulf of Mexico and has entirely different genes and properties than the yelloweye rockfish.