California sheephead
Sustainability Species Identication Title
NOAA Fisheries Logo
California sheephead, Sebastes ruberrimus

All California sheepheads are female until they are seven or eight years old when they morph into males, which they remain for the rest of their fifty year life span. They range from Monterey Bay to the Gulf of California in the Pacific, feeding chiefly on the bottom on mollusks, urchins, crabs, and lobsters. California sheephead are prey to seals, sea lions, and giant sea bass. Historically, California sheephead up to 36 pounds and three feet in length were landed, but fewer large fish are found today. Catch limits for sport, dive and commercial landings are set annually with minimum size limits and seasonal restrictions to protect spawners.

Return To Main Button