I was snorkeling in La Jolla Cove (in San Diego, CA) yesterday, feeding the local fish some frozen peas. Some of them were getting a little too frisky, nipping at the hand that held my bag of peas. I waved my hand through the middle of a group of Geribaldi (sp), and they all scattered. That worked well, so I tried the same thing when a brown rockfish parked himself a few inches from my mask. Ouch! Bad idea! The little bugger didn't even move. He just flicked up his dorsal spines and stood his ground. My (gloveless) hand smacked right into it. It felt like jamming my hand onto a row of needles. Thankfully, it didn't draw blood, but it hurt nonetheless. Do brown rockfish have venom in their spines, and if so, how serious is it?