E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Gadus macrocephalus Tilesius, 1810
Pacific Cod
Family: Gadidae
Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #7491)

Source: Distribution of Gadus macrocephalus as compiled by Aquamaps
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Species Information

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 37 - 57; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 31 - 42; Vertebrae: 49 - 55. Distinguished by the presence of 3 dorsal and 2 anal fins, a long chin barbel (about 3/4 as long as the eye diameter in young, longer than eye diameter in adults), and a space between the second and third dorsal fins that is shorter than the eye diameter (Ref. 27547). Lateral line with a prominent arch under the 1st and 2nd dorsal fins, is straight toward the tail, ending under the 3rd dorsal (Ref. 27547). Brown or gray dorsally, becoming paler ventrally; dark spots or vermiculating patterns on the sides (Ref.1371). Yellow color phases are known (Ref. 27547). Fins dusky; dorsal, anal and caudal fins with white edges that are wider on anal and caudal than on dorsal (Ref. 27547).

Source: FishBase. Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N Scialabba. 1990 . (Ref. 1371)


Species Biology

Found mainly along the continental shelf and upper slopes (Ref. 1371). Forms schools (Ref. 9988). Appears to be indiscriminate predators upon dominant food organisms present (Ref. 1371). Young probably feed on copepods and similar organisms (Ref. 27547). Adults feed on fishes, octopi, and large benthic and benthopelagic crustaceans (Ref. 1371); also worms. demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); marine; depth range 0 - 1280 m (Ref. 50550), usually 100 - 400 m (Ref. 54440). Temperate.

Source: FishBase. Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N Scialabba. 1990 . (Ref. 1371)



North Pacific: Yellow Sea to the Bering Strait, along the Aleutians, and south to about Los Angeles, USA. Rare in the southern part of its range.

Source: FishBase. Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N Scialabba. 1990 . (Ref. 1371)

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeSNRNo StatusNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-04-22 8:07:42 AM]
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