Department or Administrative Unit
Anthropology and Museum Studies
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.
Partlow, M., & Munk, E. (2015). Saffron Cod (Eleginus gracilis) in North Pacific Archaeology. Alaska Journal of Anthropology, 13(1), 19–34.
Alaska Journal of Anthropology