During a lingcod nest census dive in the Edmonds Underwater Park, I stumbled on what appears to be predatory action by a lingcod. Although I’ve spent many hours diving the EUWP and have observed a lot of lingcod, this is the first lingcod that I’ve seen eating, or perhaps trying to eat, another fish.
I was swimming my normal nest census route and was in the vicinity of Jetty Way and Northern Lights, when I spotted a lingcod holding a large cabezon in its mouth.
The lingcod was resting on the bottom and did not appear bothered by my presence. Both lingcod and cabezon are fairly abundant in the park and both spawn during the winter months. Male fish of both species guard the eggs and male cabezon can be very aggressive, even attacking divers.
It was not clear whether the lingcod was trying to feed or had just attacked a particularly annoying cabezon.
The cabezon was still breathing - its gill slits periodically flaring. The lingcod had to have been struggliing to breath with such a mouthful. It was not clear if the lingcod would finally eat the cabezon or just have to let it go.
I had to leave before seeing the final outcome.