Species Profile

Yellowmouth Rockfish

Scientific Name: Sebastes reedi
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
Range: Pacific Ocean
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Threatened
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.


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Quick Links: | Taxonomy | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Other Protection or Status | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Yellowmouth Rockfish

Taxonomy

Fishes

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Description

The Yellowmouth Rockfish is one of more than 35 rockfish species occurring in marine waters along the coast of British Columbia. It is similar to the Pacific Ocean Perch, and prior to the mid–1970s, both species were classified as “red rockfish” or “ocean perch”. Adults are primarily red, with black mottling on their backs, and the species is distinguished from other rockfish by characteristic yellow, red and black markings in its mouth.

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Distribution and Population

Yellowmouth Rockfish are found from the northern Gulf of Alaska to northern California. The species is most abundant between southeastern Alaska and Oregon, and in British Columbia the apparent area of highest concentration is in Queen Charlotte Sound.

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Habitat

Yellowmouth Rockfish occur at depths of 100–430 m along the continental slope. The area of occupancy in Canadian waters is estimated to be 11,000 – 34,000 km². Based on the species’ apparent depth and substrate preferences, approximately 48,000 km² of potential habitat is estimated to exist for Yellowmouth Rockfish in Canada.

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Biology

The life history of Yellowmouth Rockfish remains largely unknown, but probably follows similar patterns to other Sebastes species, with release of larvae that spend months as free-swimming pelagic larvae before settling to the bottom as juveniles. In British Columbia waters, larval release occurs from February to June. Males achieve 50% maturity at 37 cm, females at 38 cm. Lengths reach a maximum of approximately 54 cm.

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Threats

Commercial fishing is the primary threat to Yellowmouth Rockfish. The species is caught mainly by bottom and mid–water trawls in British Columbia. Rockfish life history traits of slow growth, delayed maturity and longevity potentially make these fish vulnerable to overfishing, habitat loss from bottom trawling and adverse environmental changes.

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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Other Protection or Status

Recovery Initiatives Several achievements contributing to the recovery of the species have been realized in recent years. Current management of the Yellowmouth fishery includes Individual Tradable Quotas (ITQs) and Total Allowable Catch (TAC), guided by scientific advice and the Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SFF). All vessels have mandatory 100% at-sea and dockside monitoring and accountability for all released and retained rockfish catch.

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Recovery Team

DFO Pacific Region

  • DFO Pacific Region - MPO région du Pacifique - Chair/Contact - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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Recovery Progress and Activities

Several achievements contributing to the recovery of the species have been realized in recent years. Current management of the Yellowmouth fishery includes Individual Tradable Quotas (ITQs) and Total Allowable Catch (TAC), guided by scientific advice and the Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SFF). All vessels have mandatory 100% at-sea and dockside monitoring and accountability for all released and retained rockfish catch.

Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

6 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Yellowmouth Rockfish Sebastes reedi in Canada (2010)

    The Yellowmouth Rockfish is one of more than 35 rockfish species occurring in marine waters along the British Columbian coast, and one of more than 60 found along the entire Pacific coast of North America. It is similar to the Pacific Ocean Perch, and, prior to the mid-1970s, both species were classified as “red rockfish” or “ocean perch”. Other common names for the Yellowmouth Rockfish include “reedi”, “red eye”, “red snapper” and “rockcod”. The species is distinguished from other rockfish by characteristic yellow, red and black markings in its mouth. Adults are primarily red, with black mottling on their backs. No population genetic studies of Yellowmouth Rockfish have been conducted and this report considers all individuals within BC as part of a single population.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Yellowmouth Rockfish Sebastes reedi (2010)

    Assessment Summary – April 2010 Common name Yellowmouth Rockfish Scientific name Sebastes reedi Status Threatened Reason for designation As with other rockfish species, this slow-growing (generation time 30 years), long-lived (maximum age 100 years) species is vulnerable to commercial fishing. Research vessel surveys indicate that abundance has declined considerably over the past 40 years (1.5 generations). While contemporary surveys designed specifically for groundfish species indicate a recent period (5 years) of relative stability, it is not clear that the decline has ceased. The initial period of decline occurred as the commercial fishery for this and other rockfish species developed. Although this is considered normal for a newly exploited population, the total decline in abundance is inferred to be well beyond what is optimal for an exploited population. The absence of any strong recruitment events during the last 20 years is also a concern. The species is an important component of BC’s commercial fisheries. Fishing continues to be a threat and there is no established limit reference point to help manage these fisheries in a precautionary manner. Occurrence Pacific Ocean Status history Designated Threatened in April 2010.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Yellowmouth Rockfish (2010)

    As with other rockfish species, this slow-growing (generation time 30 years), long-lived (maximum age 100 years) species is vulnerable to commercial fishing.  Research vessel surveys indicate that abundance has declined considerably over the past 40 years (1.5 generations). While contemporary surveys designed specifically for groundfish species indicate a recent period (5 years) of relative stability, it is not clear that the decline has ceased. The initial period of decline occurred as the commercial fishery for this and other rockfish species developed. Although this is considered normal for a newly exploited population, the total decline in abundance is inferred to be well beyond what is optimal for an exploited population. The absence of any strong recruitment events during the last 20 years is also a concern.  The species is an important component of BC’s commercial fisheries. Fishing continues to be a threat and there is no established limit reference point to help manage these fisheries in a precautionary manner.  

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2016)

    His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2017)

    His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of the Species at Risk Act, makes the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010)

    Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.