The California Scorpionfish, also known as the Sculpin, is a reddish-brown marine fish that belongs to the Scorpaenidae family, which also includes other venomous fish such as the lionfish and stonefish. It can grow up to 18 inches and is found along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Baja California. These fish have a distinct appearance, with a large head and stout body covered in bony plates and spines, including venomous spines on its dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins.
They inhabit rocky reefs and kelp forests and feed on small fish, crabs, shrimp, and octopuses. Although the venom of the California Scorpionfish is not lethal, it can cause pain, swelling, and other symptoms, so it's important to avoid touching or stepping or grabbing on them when diving or swimming.
Recreational anglers prize them for their firm, white flesh and often use bait or lures that imitate their natural prey. However, sustainable fishing practices are enforced with restrictions on the size and number of fish that can be caught, as well as regulations on when and where they can be caught.
These fish can be found locally by shore diving LA beaches and on Catalina island.