Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Anthropology and Museum Studies

Publication Date



Saffron cod (Eleginus gracilis) is a marine species often found in shallow, brackish water in the Bering Sea, although it can occur as far southeast as Sitka, Alaska. Recently, we identified saffron cod remains in two ca. 500-year-old Afognak Island midden assemblages from the Kodiak Archipelago. We developed regression formulae to relate bone measurements to total length using thirty-five modern saffron cod specimens. The archaeological saffron cod remains appear to be from mature adults, measuring 22–45 cm in total length, and likely caught from shore during spawning. Saffron cod may have been an important winter resource for Alutiiq people living near the mouths of freshwater rivers. It is also possible that saffron cod were caught in late summer or fall during salmon fishing.


This article was originally published in Alaska Journal of Anthropology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


Alaska Journal of Anthropology