Pollock (alternatively spelled pollack; pronounced /ˈpɒlək/) is the common name used for either of the two species of marine fish in the Pollachius ("P.") genus. Both P. pollachius and P. virens are commonly referred to as pollock. Other names for P. pollachius include the Atlantic pollock, European pollock, lieu jaune, and lythe; while P. virens is sometimes known as Boston blues (distinct from bluefish), coalfish (or coley), silver bills or saithe.
They can be distinguished from other members of the cod family by three features. Its lower jaw projects beyond the upper jaw, its tail is forked, and its lateral line is quite straight, not arching above the pectoral fins. Young pollock have cod like barbels on the chin, but these are small and usually disappear with age. The back varies from olive green to greenish brown. The flanks are a lighter yellowish green or gray.
Both species can grow to 3 ft 6 in (1.07 m) and can weigh up to 46 lb (21 kg). The fish has a strongly-defined, silvery lateral line running down the sides. Above the lateral line, the color is a greenish black. The belly is white. It can be found in water up to 100 fathoms (180 m) deep over rocks, and anywhere in the water column. Pollock are a "whitefish".
It is said to be the most active member of the cod family Gadidae. Though it occurs in shallower waters than either the cod or haddock, it is generally a deep or midwater fish occurring in depths of up to 600 feet. It will sometimes chase bait fish to the surface and smaller individuals are often seen milling about at the surface in large, tightly packed schools. In the western Atlantic south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, off the U.S. east coast, pollock can be taken from depths of 150' to as little as 24'. North of Cape Cod where most of the fish are taken, they have even been caught by surf fishermen.
Its diet consists of smaller pelagic fishes, sand eels and various crustaceans. Fishing methods include bait fishing or jigging with shrimp, herring, squid, clams, worms, or jigs, trolling or casting with spoons, tube lures, spinners, plugs, or flies. It makes strong, powerful runs and occasionally leaps and shakes. The flesh is of good quality and is commercially important.
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