Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets)

Sea basses have an elongated body has small scales, with a large mouth, and the tail is generally straight-edged or rounded. The dorsal fin, a diagnostic feature, consists of a forward, spiny section and a hinder, soft-rayed section; the two portions are usually joined but may be separated by a notch.

Genus/species: Paralabrax clathratus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:Pale blotches on back. Brown to olive above and cream below with pale spots along sides.

Length up to 72 cm (28.5in) and 14.5 pounds (6.6 kg)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Eastern Pacific coast from southern Washington to southern Baja California. Most often found near or in kelp beds or structures of any kind; shallow water usually from about 2.5 (8 ft) to 20 m (65 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Juveniles: plankton and small invertebrates, especially crustaceans. Adults: small fishes, octopuses, squid, crabs, shrimps, and algae. Known to form groups to prey on schooling fishes.

REPRODUCTION: Spawn in groups in deep water. Pelagic eggs hatch into larvae, which metamorph into juveniles after approximately a month. The juveniles settle among blades of kelp

MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: Life span: to at least 33 years.

PREDATION: California barracuda, Giant Sea bass


REMARKS: The kelp bass is a fine food fish, and among the most important recreational game fishes in southern California.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Southern California exhibit, 2017

Animal Diversity Web

Pacific Coast Fishes Eschmeyer, Herald and Hammann page 200

More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes of the Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Page 230-233

Ron’s flickr