2015 Assessment of the Dusky Rockfish Stock in the Gulf of Alaska
Dusky rockfish (Sebastes variabilis) have one of the most northerly distributions of all rockfish species in the Pacific. They range from southern British Columbia north to the Bering Sea and west to Hokkaido Is., Japan, but appear to be abundant only in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The forms of dusky rockfish commonly recognized as “light dusky rockfish” and “dark dusky rockfish” are now officially recognized as two species (Orr and Blackburn 2004). S. ciliatus applies to the dark shallow-water species with a common name dark rockfish, and S. variabilis applies to variably colored usually deeper-water species with the common name dusky rockfish.
Adult dusky rockfish are concentrated on offshore banks and near gullies on the outer continental shelf at depths of 100 to 200 m (Reuter 1999). Anecdotal evidence from fishermen and from biologists on trawl surveys suggests that dusky rockfish are often caught in association with a hard, rocky bottom on these banks or gullies. Also, during submersible dives on the outer shelf of the eastern GOA, dusky rockfish.