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FBE Focal Species - Lingcod

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Lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) is a large greenling (Hexagrammidae) providing a large recreational fishery from southern California to the Gulf of Alaska, and a modest commercial fishery from Oregon northward. Most are captured on hook and line and trawl. Catches of lingcod often limits trawl fisheries for other species because of low lingcod capture quotas.

Adult Lingcod.Adults occupy continental shelf depths from the intertidal zone to 300 m or more, depending on cool water at depth in the more southern locations. Lingcod reach 1.5 m in length and may live for at least 20 years. Adults live on or near the bottom, often in rocky areas where fish, squid, and octopus prey are abundant. Lingcod females lay large egg masses in crevices and under ledges in shallow near-shore habitats during winter and spring. Males guard the nest sites for 8-10 weeks until the eggs hatch. Newly hatched lingcod are essentially pelagic until they reach 80-100 mm when they take up residence on the bottom in sand, gravel, and eelgrass in bays, estuaries and shallow shelf environment. Lingcod are voracious predators and grow rapidly to approximately 30 cm in their first year.

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Last updated 27 March, 2009


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