Its sides are spotted with yellow; its tail is a solid yellow and its other fins are a muted yellow. It has a lower jaw that projects a bit from the head of the fish.
The fish can live up to 50 years in the wild, if not caught, and grow up to 26 inches (65 cm) long. By 3 years of age, it will be about 11 inches (30 cm) long. By 5 years will be about 13 inches (33 cm) long. A two foot (60 cm) long Yellowtail Rockfish will weigh about 7 1/2 pounds (3 1/2 kilos.)
A Yellowtail Rockfish tends to spend its entire life in one general area, feeding on small fish, squid and crustaceans.
It has rose-coloured firm flesh, with a dark layer of flesh just under the skin, with a taste similar to that of other rockfish.
Its firm flesh stays together during cooking, making it good for soups or stews.