Lingcod | Oceana Canada

Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia

Lingcod

Ophiodon elongatus

Also known as

Blue cod, cultus cod, green cod, leopard cod, bluefish, greenling

Distribution

Northeast Pacific from the Gulf of Alaska, USA to Baja California, Mexico

Ecosystem/Habitat

Rocky bottoms

Feeding Habits

Aggressive predator

Conservation Status

Not listed

Taxonomy

Order Scorpaeniformes (scorpionfishes & flatheads); Family Hexagrammidae (greenlings)

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The scientific name for Lingcod, Ophiodon elongates, comes from the Greek ophis for snake and odons for tooth and the Latin elongates, or elongated, all of which provide a fitting description for this long-bodied, large-mouthed, toothy fish. Although the word “cod” is also in their name, lingcod are not actually cod; they are a member of the greenling family. 

Lingcod have an elongated body with a long dorsal fin and are typically a mottled brown colour, but can range anywhere from grey to green to reddish-brown. They are voracious predators, made obvious by their large mouths filled with eighteen sharp teeth. Lingcod can grow to be more than a metre long and weigh around 30 kilograms, with females growing much larger than males.