About This Fish

Ling Cod

The lingcod (Ophiodon elongates) is ray finned fish which belongs to the family Hexagrammidae under Order Scorpaeniformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is found in Shumagin Islands in the western Gulf of Alaska to Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico and in the Bering Sea. It occurs near the bottom generally in close association with rocky areas and kelp beds especially with a strong tidal movement. It occurs most abundantly at depths ranging to about 350 feet but often goes into deeper water.

The lingcod’s body is elongated and slightly compressed with only one complete lateral line. Lingcod is generally dark brown with lots of spots and blotches on the upper part of the body and pale below with light spots. It has a long dorsal fin which is separated by deep notched into spiny and soft part. Spiny part has 24-27 spines and soft part contains 21-24 rays while anal fin bears 3 spines and 21-24 soft rays. Pelvic fin is thoracic and 4-5 spines are present on preopercule. Head is elongated and conical in shape and mouth is large with sharp canine teeth. Fleshy circus is present on each eye and the caudal fin is truncate. It is voracious predator which feeds on wide variety of foods including invertebrates such as crustaceans, octopus, squid and many species of fish, such as herring, salmon and Pacific hake, rockfish while juvenile feeds on copepods and small crustaceans. It is preyed upon by marine mammals such as sea lions and harbor seals. Male reaches sexual maturity at the age of 2 years while female at 3-5 years. Spawning takes place during the period between December and March. A female lays approximately 60,000- 500,000 eggs in a single season. It grows up to 152 cm in length and 59 kg in weight. It can live up to 20 years.

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