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Bottomfish Identification: Greenling

Whitespotted Greenling
Hexagrammos stelleri

Rarely caught by recreational harvesters within Puget Sound and are uncommon in coastal waters.

Description: The body of the whitespotted greenling is light brownish green, often tinged with red, and has dark bars or blotches. This species also has conspicuous white spots on the body and head. It has five lateral lines, but the fourth one is very short. The first lateral line is also short, inconspicuous, and ends before the middle of the dorsal fin. This greenling has a cirrus above the eyes and fins with dark streaks or rows of blotches and a yellowish anal fin. 

Maximum Size: To 48 cm (19 in) in length, and 1,600 g (3.53 lbs) in weight.

Maximum Age: Information is lacking for this species.

Range/Habitat: The whitespotted greenling ranges from Japan to Puget Sound, Washington. They are found inshore, near rocks and pilings and within eelgrass beds. They range in depth from the intertidal to 175 m (574 ft).


  • Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 336 p.
  • Lamb, A. and P. Edgell, 1986. Coastal fishes of the Pacific Northwest. Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd., B.C., Canada. 224 p.

Photo:  S. Axtell