The queenfish is a small croaker and a member of the Sciaenidae family (drum and croaker). Essentially a panﬁsh-size bottom scrounger, it is not an esteemed sport or food fish, but it is commonly caught from Paciﬁc coast piers and may be desirable as whole or cut bait for other species.
IdentificationThe queenfish has an elongated, moderately compressed body. The upper profile is depressed over the eyes, and it has a large mouth. Its coloring is bluish above and becomes silvery below. The fins are yellowish. This species is distinguished from other croaker by its large mouth; by the base of its second dorsal and anal ﬁns, which are roughly equal; and by the wide space between its two dorsal ﬁns. There is no chin barbel on the lower jaw.
SizeThe maximum length of the queenﬁsh is 12 inches, but most ﬁsh are considerably smaller.
Spawning behaviorSpawning occurs along the coast in the summer. The eggs are free ﬂoating, and newly hatched juveniles appear in the late summer and the fall; they gradually move shoreward from depths of 20 to 30 feet into the surf zone.
FoodQueenfish feed on small, free-swimming crustaceans, crabs, and ﬁsh.
Other Namesherring, herring croaker, kingfish, shiner, queen croaker; Spanish: corvina reina.