Ophiodon elongates

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This predatory fish is a common in our Halibut Flats exhibit where it patrols near the sandy bottom. The lingcod is a striking-looking fish with mottled coloring in gray, brown, green and blue. Its lower jaw juts out dramatically, giving it the appearance of a vicious, tooth-filled under bite.

The fact that they can grow up to five feet in length also makes them impressive animals which are prized by sports fishermen. Most lingcod are solitary predators, swimming through the rocks and reefs of the intertidal zone where they hunt herring, flounder, hake, cod and whiting.

Female lingcod move inshore during the winter to spawn and return to deeper water after laying their eggs in a large, adhesive white mass which can contain up to 450,000 eggs. These egg masses are deposited in crevices or under rocks in shallow water, where the male lingcod guard them from predators like snails, crabs and sculpins.

Range and Habitat

Reefs and soft, sandy ocean bottoms usually in shallower waters. They can be found all along the Pacific Coast of North America from Alaska to Baja California.

Conservation Status