The goal of this study was to describe the duration and magnitude of the physiological stress response in lingcod Ophiodon elongatus after exposure to brief handling and sublethal air stressors. The response to these stressors was determined during a 24-h recovery period by measuring concentrations of plasma cortisol, lactate, glucose, sodium, and potassium. Lingcod were subjected to brief handling followed by either a 15-min or a 45-min air stressor in the laboratory. After the 15-min stressor, an increase in cortisol or glucose could not be detected until after 5 min of recovery. Peak concentrations were measured after 30 min for cortisol and after 60 min for glucose and lactate. Glucose and lactate had returned to basal levels after 12 h, whereas cortisol did not return to basal levels until after 24 h of recovery. Immediately following a 45-min air stressor, all measured parameters were significantly elevated over levels in prestressor control fish. Cortisol concentrations tended to increase and reached a measured peak after 8 h of recovery, whereas glucose and lactate reached a measured peak after 1 h of recovery. Cortisol and lactate returned to basal levels within 24 h. Glucose, however, remained elevated even after 24 h of recovery. Plasma ions initially increased during the first hour of recovery, and the concentrations then declined to a level below that measured in control fish for the remainder of the 24-h recovery period. In addition, we evaluated the effect of fish size on the stress response. There was no significant difference between the stress response of smaller (41-49-cm [total length] and larger (50-67-cm) lingcod after 45 min air exposure. In general, both the magnitude and duration of the primary and secondary stress responses in lingcod are comparable to those of salmonids. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2006.