Lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus)

Category: Fish
Related species groups: Greenling
If you see this species, please share your observation using the WDFW wildlife reporting form. Providing detailed information such as a photo and exact coordinates will improve the confidence and value of this observation to WDFW species conservation and management.

Commonly caught off the Washington coast by commercial harvesters using otter-trawls, handline jig, and longline gear. Commonly caught by recreational harvesters within Puget Sound.

Description and Range

Physical description

Lingcod are a large and elongate species. The body is gray to brown, greenish or bluish, with darker and lighter spotting. The belly is lighter. There is a prominent whitish lateral line and the body is covered with cycloid (round) scales. The dorsal fin is long with spinous and soft-rayed parts nearly separated by a notch. The anal fin has 3 spines. The mouth is large with the upper jaw extending rearward past the eyes. Teeth are large and canine-like. The head is unscaled and there is a cirrus above the eye.

Lingcod can grow up to 152 cm (60 in or 5 ft) in length, and 59 kg (130 lbs) in weight. Maximum age is 14 years for males and 20 years for females.

Geographic range

Lingcod range from Kodiak Island to northern Baja, California and possibly to the Bering Sea. They are found on the bottom, with most individuals occupying rocky areas at depths of 10 to 100 m (32-328 ft). They have been found at depths of 427 m (1,400 ft).

State record

WeightAnglerLocationDate Caught
61.00 lbs Tom Nelson San Juan Islands July 30, 1986

See all sportfish records


This species is identified as a Priority Species under WDFW's Priority Habitat and Species Program. Priority species require protective measures for their survival due to their population status, sensitivity to habitat alteration, and/or recreational, commercial, or tribal importance. The PHS program is the agency's main means of sharing fish and wildlife information with local governments, landowners, and others who use it to protect priority habitats for land use planning.