A large school of yellowtail rockfish parade over the seafloor.he body of the yellowtail rockfish is elongate and compressed.
The head is rather long and the upper profile is steep and slightly curved. The lower jaw projects, but not beyond the upper profile of the head.
The color is grayish brown above which shades to white below.
The sides are finely spotted with yellow. The tail is yellow, while the other fins are dusky yellow.
When the fish is fresh, reddish brown speckling is visible on some of the scales.
As with many of the rockfish, identification can be somewhat difficult. Some of the distinguishing characteristics of the yellow tail rockfish include a convex space between the eyes, the absence of spines on top of the head, a projecting lower jaw, an anal fin with eight (rarely seven) soft rays and the lining of the belly is white.
The yellowtail rockfish occurs from San Diego, California, to Kodiak Island, Alaska; it is caught commercially off the coast of British Columbia, as well as being caught by recreational anglers off of central and northern California. It is regularly found over deep reefs from the surface to depths of 1,800 feet