Chinese government has provided vigorous financial supports to artificial reef (AR) projects to repair marine ecosystem. Qiansandao AR, an important AR project of Fishery Resource Restoration Program in Shandong Province, was built during 2002 to 2007. It has enhanced the local fishery harvest and generated positive economic benefits. Fat greenling ( Hexagrammos otakii) is a major commercial reef fish in Qiansandao with high economic values. Its distribution characteristics need to be further studied. In this research, we studied the potential influence of environmental variables and distance from ARs on catch per unit effort ( CPUE) and body length of fat greenlings. The results showed that the average body length of fat greenlings distributed within 10 m from ARs was longer than that of fat greenlings distributed more than 600 m away from ARs. Body length also increased with the increased salinity, while it declined as temperature increased. The probability of the presence of fat greenling increased when temperature was below 20°C, then it slightly decreased. CPUE decreased as the distance increased. Our results elucidate the potential effects of environmental variables and distance from ARs on the distribution of fat greenling, which may also be helpful to the distribution research of other reef fish species.