• Family: Gadidae (Codfishes)
• Other Names: Freshwater cod, lawyer fish, eelpout
• Ohio Status: Sport fish and species of concern
• Adult Size: Typically 15-25 inches, can reach 36 inches. Usually weigh 2-5 pounds, can reach over 17 pounds.
• Typical Foods: Young feed on plankton and small crustaceans, adults feed mostly on fish.
The burbot has two dorsal fins. The front dorsal is short and rounded followed by a long second dorsal much like that of a bowfin. They also have a long anal fin and a rounded tail. Burbot have one barbel that points down and forward from the center of the lower jaw. They are dark olive brown to brown in color, with dark brown mottling on the sides and yellowish to cream on the underside. They have very small, almost invisible scales, which make them a very slippery fish.
Habitat and Habits
The burbot is native to Ohio, and is found in Lake Erie. They spend the warmer months in the cold deep eastern basin of Lake Erie and move into the shallow waters of the central and western basins during the colder months of the year. They are often caught by ice fisherman near piers, bays, or river mouths.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Burbot spawn between January and March in shallow water. The thousands of fertilized eggs hatch in the spring.