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. 

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has not assessed or listed Lingcod. However, under Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)’s Precautionary Approach Framework, the outside populations (southwest Vancouver Island, northwest Vancouver Island, Queen Charlotte Sound, and Hecate Strait and the west coast of Haida Gwaii) were assessed as Healthy in 2011. The population found in the Strait of Georgia, however, was assessed under the framework as Cautious. This population crashed to historical lows in the 1980s, but is now recovering and slowly increasing in numbers.