Species: Hypsypops rubicundus; from the Greek word hypsypops (high area below the eye) and the Latin word rubicunda (red).
Alternate Names: Golden perch or ocean sunfish.
Identification: Garibaldi are distinguished by a brilliant golden orange coloring on the whole body -- they're one of the prettiest fish in our coastal waters. They are perch-shaped but very deep-bodied with large fins. The young are reddish orange with bright blue spots.
Size: To 14 inches; pier-caught fish are usually under a foot.
Range: Magdalena Bay, Baja California to Monterey Bay. Uncommon north of Santa Barbara and rare north of Point Conception.
Habitat: Shallow-water, rocky-shore areas and near kelp.
Piers: Caught at a few southern California piers located near kelp beds or rocky reefs. Best bets: Green Pleasure Pier (Avalon), Redondo Harbor Sportfishing Pier, Hermosa Beach Pier, Paradise Cove Pier, and in some years, late summer to fall, Gaviota Pier. I've also seen quite a few swimming around the pilings at the Dana Harbor Pier.
Size and Number Limit: MAY NOT BE TAKEN OR POSSESSED.
Food Value: None since you can't keep them!
Comments: Once again, it is illegal to keep these fish.