- Although the flesh of the almaco jack is considered quality table fare, the species has been associated with ciguatera poisoning, a seldom fatal stomach irritation.
- The almaco jack is susceptible to tapeworm parasites in the caudal peduncle area, but the meat can be eaten safely if affected portions are cut away.
Rock sea bass (Centropristis)
The body color of the rock sea bass is olive-brown or bronze, with dark blotches arranged in vertical bars. The head and fins have bright blue and orange markings. The second dorsal fin has about 11 rays. The tail fin is tri-lobed in adults. The tip of the lower jaw is purplish. The body, which is more elongated than other sea bass species, is tapered at both ends. A dark black blotch at the middle of the dorsal fin base differentiates it from the similar bank sea bass.
As omnivorous fish, rock sea bass feed on other fish, squid and plankton. Juveniles feed on benthic invertebrates, or those organisms that dwell close to the bottom sediment, especially crustaceans.
The rock sea bass is found in the western Atlantic from North Carolina to Florida, as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Primarily found offshore at depths up to 180 feet, rock sea bass prefer areas near or above hard bottoms, rocks, jetties and ledges, but can also be found near sandy or muddy bottoms. Water with an average temperature of 63 F is preferred.