A member of the Gadidae family, the pollock is the most active of the various codﬁsh and has been popular with anglers. It is an important commercial species, taken primarily by trawls and gillnets, and not to be confused with another cod family member, the Alaska, or walleye, pollock (Theragra calcogramma). A similar species sought by anglers is the European pollack (Pollachius pollachius).
IdentificationThe pollock is olive green to greenish-brown on top and yellowish-gray on the sides and the belly, with silvery overtones. It can be distinguished from other members of the cod family, such as the Atlantic cod, the haddock, and the tomcod, by three features: The lower jaw of the pollock projects beyond the upper jaw, the tail is forked, and the lateral line is quite straight, not arching above the pectoral ﬁns.
A young pollock has codlike barbels on the chin, but these are small and usually disappear with age. The European pollack is distinguished from the pollock by its lateral line, which is decurved over the pectoral ﬁns.