Kelp bass

Kelp bass range from Bahia Magdalena, Baja California Sur to the Columbia River region in Washington, although they are primarily found in waters between Baja California Norte and Point Conception, California. They prefer relatively shallow depths in rocky reef and kelp bed habitat. Kelp bass are mature at 3-4 years old (or about 10 inches), and legal sized kelp bass (14 inches) are typically about 8 years old. Individuals have been aged to 34 years old. Juveniles feed primarily on small invertebrates, while adults feed primarily on small fishes and market squid. Kelp bass spawn in the afternoon/evening hours during the summer in groups of a few individuals to low hundreds of individuals. Adults tend to have relatively restricted movement patterns on a daily and seasonal basis, with small diel home ranges and strong site fidelity. However, schools of kelp bass have been observed in the pelagic environment as well, suggesting that broader-scale movements sometimes occur. Both recreational and commercial fishermen targeted kelp bass until 1953 when the commercial fishery was closed due to a sharp decline in landings in the 1940s and early 1950s. There are also signs of gradual decline among the recreational catch data during the last 3-4 decades.