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Burbot (Lota lota)

The Burbot fish or Lota lota is found in streams and lakes in places like Canada, Europe and The United States in Michigan and Minnesota. This fish is part of the Cod family and has a long thin appearance. It is normally yellow or brown, but generally becomes darker towards the top of its body. These fish have barbels much like the Catfish. They also bear a resemblance to the dangerous Snakehead, but can be differentiated by their split dorsal fin.This freshwater fish can grow to about 22 pounds and measured about 42 inches long! These fish have an oil in them that has been proven to improve furs. Their liver which can weigh almost 10% of their body weight, produces a chemical that is 3-4 times more potent in vitamin D, and 4–10 times more potent in vitamin A than other of cod liver oils. The Burbot almost looks like they are scaleless, but in fact they have very small, almost microscopic scales.

These fish are slow growers only reaching about 18" in the first 7 years of their lives! This is around the moment that the Burbot first begin to spawn. They spawn in the late winter under the ice and are said to form a solid ball of several Burbots while spawning. The Burbot is one of the only fish that spawn during the wintertime. They can produce over a million eggs at a time!

It is my understanding that despite their ugly appears these fish are quite tasty, their flavor resembles that of a lobster, hence its nickname the Poor Man's Lobster! They are also known as Cusk, Lawyer Fish and Freshwater Cod.  If you have any recipes or fishing tips for Burbot that you would like to share please do so below in the comments!


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