Methods and Data Sources


     This guide is limited to rockfishes distributed in the 200-mile territorial waters along the Pacific coast of the United States and Canada. Distributions are described by major political boundaries (i.e., state and country borders) or bodies of water (e.g., Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea). In addition, Alaska and California are further divided into general regions. California is broken down into three regions: northern (the California-Oregon border to Point Arena), central (Point Arena to Point Conception), and southern (Point Conception to the Baja California border). Alaska is divided into the Gulf of Alaska (British Columbia border to Unimak Pass), Aleutian Islands (Unimak Pass to Attu Island), and Bering Sea (Aleutian Islands to the Chukchi Sea).

     Meristic data were compiled from various sources, including Chen (1971, 1986), Miller and Lea (1972), Matarese et al. (1989), Hart (1973), and original species descriptions. Abbreviations follow Chen (1986), with dorsal-fin (D) spines (in roman numerals) followed by soft rays (arabic numerals; last two rays counted as one). Anal-fin rays (A) alone are listed, as all scorpaenids possess three anal-fin spines, and the last two rays are counted as one. All pectoral-fin rays (P1) from the left side are listed. Total gillraker (GR) counts include all rakers, including rudiments. Lateral line pores (LLp) include all pores from the neurocranium to the caudal fin, without noting the caudal-fin base; lateral line scales (LLs) include the scale rows just below the lateral line. Vertebral (V) counts include the ural centrum, bearing the caudal fin.

     The range of this data was verified from specimens archived in several collections including the University of Washington Fish Collection (UWFC), Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (LACM), California Academy of Sciences (CAS), Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), U. S. Natural History Museum (USNM), and University of British Columbia (UBC). Distributions were compiled from the literature (same sources as above, as well as Allen and Smith, 1988) and updated from the RACEBASE database of the Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering Division, which includes data from surveys conducted by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center from 1948 to 1998. For each species, we attempted to verify unusual records by tracing voucher specimens and examining original haul data.


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