Kelp Bass 7688835234 O
37Identifcation number on The Map®

Kelp Bass

Paralabrax clathratus

Kelp BassDave Rudie


  • Back and sides mottled in solid shades of brown to black; belly pate
  • Tail square cut
  • Large, pale to white; oval to rectangular spots or blotches on back
  • First two spines of foredorsal fin short


  • Common to occasional southern California; uncommon to rare north to Washington


  • Young and small to medium sized adults inhabit kelp beds, rocky inshore ares and seaweed flats; large adults inhabit deeper patch reefs and areas of sand
  • Although not territorial, they tend to remain in one area


  • Small shrimp-like crustaceans are very important in the diet of kelp bass of all ages
  • However, with increase in size there is a corresponding increase in the amount of fish eaten
  • Anchovies, small surf perch, squid and other small fishes

Interesting Facts

  • Active during the day, but shelter at night