Ling Cod

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The Ling Cod of the Pacific Northwest

Ling Cod, Fish, Vancouver Island, BC Coastal Region, Pacific Northwest
Ling Cod, Photo By Robert Logan

Ling cod are large predators with huge mouths armed with numerous sharp teeth. They are brown with darker marks of different colors, spots or shades on the back and sides. Female ling cod can grow up to 150 cm, although males rarely exceed 100 cm. I have seen females weighing in at above 30 kilos

Biological assessments have indicated that ling cod stocks in the Strait of Georgia waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland are severely depressed and require protection if the stocks are to rebuild.

In those areas where ling cod can be retained, record your catch immediately on your license.
There is a minimum size limit of 65 cm in most areas. The length of a lingcod means the distance measured along the body from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. The minimum size limit for a ling cod with the head removed is 53 cm, measured along the shortest length of the body to the tip of the tail. The pectoral fins should remain attached. These fish are incredible beautiful and prehistoric to look at, l hope we can manage the fishery with care.

Ling cod mature at different lengths and ages depending on their sex. The females begin to mature at 3 to 5 years of age when their length reaches about 75 cm. Males begin to mature at age 2 with a length of about 50 cm. The number of eggs a mature female will lay depends on her size and age, the older she gets, the more eggs she will lay. Along the north coast, lingcod will spawn from December to March.  After the eggs are deposited and fertilized in nests in crevices along the reefs, the female lingcod leave, the male stays to guard the nest until the eggs hatch which takes from 5 to 11 weeks.

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