Dec 20, 2016

Species Bio: Ling Cod

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Lingcod

Ophiodon elongatus

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Lingcod is one of the many best fish we’re know for.

Characteristics

Lingcod is actually neither a cod nor a ling but a Pacific Greenling. However, the misnomer has stuck. The flesh is mild in flavor and high in oil content with a medium-firm and flaky texture. Raw lingcod flesh can be slightly or bright blue. This is completely normal and the flesh turns white when cooked and has no discernible difference in flavor.

Season

Lingcod is managed along with other groundfish fisheries and is available intermittently April-October. In the U.S. West Coast, the allowable catch for commercially-caught lingcod varies based on the permits held by fishermen, so availability also varies.

Catch Location

Lingcod is caught in ocean waters of the eastern Pacific, from Baja California to the Bering Sea. But it is most abundant in Washington and British Columbia.

Catch Method

Lingcod come from wild marine fisheries, not fish farms. Catch methods include longline, handline, traps and bottom trawls.

longline

Longline Gear

Buying Guide

When buying lingcod, look for bright white or blue flesh. Grayish flesh color and/or blood spots signal mishandling and dull eyes and faded gills on whole lingcod indicate lack of freshness.

In Your Seafood Case

Display whole fillet or portions that customers will want to buy. Avoid cutting fillet into odd sizes.

Sustainability

The lingcod fisheries in the U.S. West Coast, Alaska and British Columbia are all well managed, sustainable fisheries. In California, Oregon and Washington, lingcod are managed along with other groundfish, with restrictions on the minimum size and trip limits, as well as seasonal and area closures to allow fish to spawn, and gear restrictions to reduce bycatch and minimize impact to the ocean habitat. The Alaska lingcod fishery is managed similarly, though in Alaska, lingcod is caught almost exclusively as bycatch.

Since January 2011, the West Coast groundfish trawl fishery has been managed under the trawl rationalization catch share program. Managers assess biomass each year to determine the health of the species, and then allocate shares to individual and groups of fishermen. The goal of this program is to target healthy stocks (such as lingcod) and protect more vulnerable groundfish species. It also gives fishermen the flexibility to catch their shares when weather and market conditions are most favorable to increase safety and value.

Preparation Ideas

Lingcod is easily pan-fried, baked, broiled or grilled. You can also add lingcod to soups or stews. It cooks up similar to halibut or other white fish.

Here are some amazing recipes you could use to make great meals out of your lingcod:

Baked Lingcod with lemon garlic butter sauce http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/baked_ling_cod_with_lemon_garlic_butter_sauce/

Pan-seared and crusted Lingcod  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/254263/pan-seared-and-crusted-ling-cod/

Easy oven baked Lingcod http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-oven-baked-cod-133718