Pollock are brownish-green dorsally with the color becoming more pale ventrally. They have a pale, smooth lateral line that is interrupted. The body is fusiform. They have a small chin barbel and a terminal mouth (Cohen et al. 1990). Although there is evidence that some populations may be geographically isolated, there is no evidence that there are any important genetic differences between populations (Mayo et al. 1989). Adult pollock can reach maximum lengths of 130 cm but are usually less than 110 cm (Collette and Klein-MacPhee 2002). Mayo et al. (1989) reported that for the period 1970 to 1984 mean length was 50.5 cm for males and 47.9 cm for females. O'Brien et al. (1993) reported that for the period 1986 to 1988 mean length was 41.8 cm for males and 39.1 cm for females. This change in size has also been accompanied by a decrease in mean age at maturity (see Development).
Range mass: 32 (high) kg.
Average mass: 0.5-5 kg.
Range length: 28 to 130 cm.
Average length: 45-85 cm.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: male larger
- O'Brien, L., J. Burnett, R. Mayo. 1993. Maturation of nineteen species of finfish off the Northeast coast of the United States, 1985-1990.. NOAA Tech. Tep. NMFS, 113: 66 pp..
- Collette, B., G. Klein-MacPhee. 2002. Pollock, Pollachius virens . Pp. xxxx in B Collette, G Klein-MacPhee, eds. Bigelow and Schroeder's fishes of the Gulf of Maine. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
- Mayo, R., J. McGlade, S. Clark. 1989. Patterns of exploitation and biological status of pollock (Pollachius virens (L.)) in the Scotian Shelf, Georges Bank, and Gulf of Maine area. J. Northwest Atl. Fish. Sci., 9: 13-36.