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Topic: Yelloweye ID?  (Read 624 times)

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Tez

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I was out fishing the Sonoma Coast yesterday, and caught the biggest bright orange rockfish I've ever hooked.  Didn't measure, but she had to have been near 24"+ long, plus wide, tall, and heavy.  Fought harder than the 26" Ling I landed just before it. 

My first thought was Yelloweye, but the eyes weren't bright yellow, more dark goldish/brown.  They also weren't red like a Verm...

I didn't see any raspy ridges above the eyes, maybe 2 tiny bumps next to the "nostrils"...

The fins didn't have any black edges like a lot of yelloweye ID pics.  The tail fin was kinda frayed and hard to tell if it was rounded or forked originally.

The underside of the chin was smooth, but I think I was supposed to be checking for rough patches (Verm) on the bottom of the actual lip instead?  Or is a Verm's whole chin rough?

This fish was clearly not a youngster, and had 2 old previous hook wounds in the roof of it's mouth. Basically, I was about 85% sure it was a Yelloweye, and I safely and successfully released her immediately.  That remaining 15% uncertainty is bugging me though.

I wish I had my camera on me at the time, but unfortunately no pics/didn't happen... . 

Does anyone have any other tips or shortcuts for 100% positive ID differences between Verms and Yelloweyes?

It looks to me like the Yelloweyes have a slightly longer "nose" and the Verm top lip sits more vertically when the mouth is open...


Also found this quiz:
https://myodfw.com/articles/rockfish-identification-tips

« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 02:54:13 PM by Tez »


Herefishy

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It is really tough being colorblind (8% of men) and being a rock fisherman. Hard enough telling coho from king salmon.


NowhereMan

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It is really tough being colorblind (8% of men) and being a rock fisherman. Hard enough telling coho from king salmon.

I’d never considered that—that would be tough.

Now if I ever run afoul of the RF regs, I’ll be tempted to ask the game warden (in my best Maxwell Smart impersonation), “Would you believe that I’m colorblind?”
One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish


Rock Hopper

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If its chin was totally smooth it was a YE.

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crash

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As described I'd be very confident in your YE ID.
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KPD

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How about an orange canary like this one 3$J caught? Underside of jaw would be smooth, and the rest of the description seems to fit.

http://aoty.norcalkayakanglers.com/uploads/catch/image/6060/4CB70F87-132B-436C-B935-A0B2A56E1B68.jpeg

In any case, big old rockfish tend to be high in mercury and important for spawning, so releasing it even if you weren't required to isn't a tragedy.
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Tez

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Thanks for the responses!

How about an orange canary like this one 3$J caught? Underside of jaw would be smooth, and the rest of the description seems to fit.

http://aoty.norcalkayakanglers.com/uploads/catch/image/6060/4CB70F87-132B-436C-B935-A0B2A56E1B68.jpeg


Wow, that looks like it could be the same fish I caught, notice it barely has any white lines.  Doesn't have the same colorations as the smaller canaries I catch in the same area.  The eyes seem right too...

The only difference I can see in that big canary vs. a yelloweye is the angle of the mouth (and YE usually, but not always, have black fin tips).  I'm sure I'll figure it out with time, used to not be able to tell blues and blacks apart until I saw a bunch of them.


In any case, big old rockfish tend to be high in mercury and important for spawning, so releasing it even if you weren't required to isn't a tragedy.


I agree.  Figured the fish might be as old as me.  At that size, I'd probably let it go even if it was a canary, but knowing my fish ID's is important.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 05:22:01 PM by Tez »


ThreemoneyJ

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How about an orange canary like this one 3$J caught? Underside of jaw would be smooth, and the rest of the description seems to fit.

http://aoty.norcalkayakanglers.com/uploads/catch/image/6060/4CB70F87-132B-436C-B935-A0B2A56E1B68.jpeg

In any case, big old rockfish tend to be high in mercury and important for spawning, so releasing it even if you weren't required to isn't a tragedy.

Hey I resemble that remark! I’m a big fan of releasing large RF (that canary was safely released BTW).

On a verm the whole underside of the chin is rough and very distinct feeling. On a canary the lateral line being clear and the “war paint” on the face is a good indicator. For the yelloweye the dark fin edges  and bright yellow eye are good indicators.

It sounds like you may have gotten a big canary but difficult to tell without a photo. At any rate if unsure on fish ID it’s always safe to release.

I have caught a few large YE lately so they are definitely around as well.
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Tez

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Hey I resemble that remark! I’m a big fan of releasing large RF (that canary was safely released BTW).

On a verm the whole underside of the chin is rough and very distinct feeling. On a canary the lateral line being clear and the “war paint” on the face is a good indicator. For the yelloweye the dark fin edges  and bright yellow eye are good indicators.

It sounds like you may have gotten a big canary but difficult to tell without a photo. At any rate if unsure on fish ID it’s always safe to release.

I have caught a few large YE lately so they are definitely around as well.

Nice, thanks for the answers!  I'm now sure it wasn't a verm, the chin wasn't right.  Looks like it was probably the biggest canary I've seen in person, with fairly consistent, darker orange coloration all over. 

Either way, I feel good about safely releasing it.

I need to start taking more pics
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 01:02:16 AM by Tez »


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2018 Hobie Revolution 13 Cheeesy Orange Papaya


Tez

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Here's a practice test...

Thanks for the link.  Yep, I've done that one.  I think it's the same ODFW quiz I linked in the first post. 

Also found this quiz:
https://myodfw.com/articles/rockfish-identification-tips


The last YE in the test is atypically colored and tricky.  That's what got me with the fish yesterday, it's color looked nothing like the smaller (<18") canaries I've caught before.


Herefishy

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That was very informative, even for color blind. Anything with yellow eyes and two lines will go back.


divenfish

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Rounded tail fin, not forked + black fin edges = yellowey


 

anything