Lota lota Linnaeus, 1758, Europe.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: American burbot (Canada), lush (Alaska), lawyer, ling (Canada), eelpout.
Short first dorsal fin followed by long second dorsal fin. Anal fin single, nearly as long-based as second dorsal. Pelvic fins normal, not modified into elongate rays. Well-developed chin barbel. Anterior nostril has barbel-like flap. Color yellow, light tan, to brown, overlain with a blotchy pattern of darker brown or black.
The burbot occurs in freshwaters of northern North America and Europe and Asia. Occurs farther north than 40° N (to nearly 80° N).
Occurs on the bottoms of lakes and rivers, from depths of 1.6 ft (0.5 m) to more than 755 ft (230 m).
The burbot moves into shallower waters during summer nights. They also move into shallower water to spawn in some parts of their range.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
The burbot has been characterized as a voracious predator and night feeder. Young fish feed on insect larvae, crayfish, molluscs and other invertebrates, whereas adults >19.7 in (50 cm) feed almost exclusively on other fishes.
Burbot spawning occurs from November to May, but primarily between January and March in Canada, and December in parts of Russia. Spawning usually occurs under the ice, over sand or gravel substrates, at night, and in shallow water (<9.8 ft [3 m] depth). Eggs are semi buoyant. Fecundity ranges from 45,600 eggs per 13.4-in (34-cm) female to 1,362,077 eggs in a 25.2-in (64-cm) female.
Not listed by the IUCN. The burbot may occur in considerable numbers in many inland lakes, but has declined over past levels in the Great Lakes, where it had been considered a nuisance species.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
The burbot is an important competitor for food of other species, such as lake trout and whitefish. It is fished commercially in Finland, Sweden, and the European part of Russia, but it is only moderately important as a commercial species in Canada and Alaska. Often marketed salted or as pet food.
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