Alernate names : Tomcod, frostfish
Scientific name : Microgadus tomcod
Common name in English : Atlantic Tomcod
Body shape : Elongated, slender and moderately compressed.
Average size : 15 to 20 cm, up 45 cm.
Coloration : Brownish or olive brown with yellow or green shades under the lateral line, darker back, lighter on the sides, black marbling on the back, sides and fins..
External features : Triangular shaped head, small and numerous teeth, barbel on it’s chin, three slightly round dorsal fins, two slightly rounded ventral fins under the second and third dorsal fins, narrow pelvic fin, tapering with a long a filament (as long as the rest of the fin), caudal round fins.
Coastal water, not deep, brackish estuary waters and fresh water rivers during spawning season.
Small population stationed in the St-Jean Lake.
Even if it’s the smallest representative of the cod family, the Atlantic tomcod chiefly and especially feeds on small crustaceans. However, it also feeds on worms, molluscs and fishes (smelts, sticklebacks).
Season : Winter, December and January.
Spawning: In fresh or brackish water, not deep, in sandy bottom or gravel. Estuary and rivers.
Mode : Maturity is reached after two years. No nests are built. The number of eggs laid by the female depends on its size: 6 000 to over 65 000 tiny eggs (1,5 mm in diameter) laid down on gravel or on sand. They hatch after 30 days and the young tomcods drift towards brackish waters in estuaries to spend there their first summer.