Introduction to a special section: Ecology, culture, and management of Burbot

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
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Abstract

The Burbot Lota lota is the only truly freshwater member of the cod family (Gadidae) and one of only two species of freshwater fish that have a circumpolar range (McPhail and Lindsey 1970; McPhail and Paragamian 2000). Two subspecies of Lota lota have been documented: Lota lota maculosa, which is found exclusively in North America from south of Great Slave Lake in Canada to the southern limit of its range; and Lota lota lota, which is found over the remainder of the species’ Nearctic range and its entire Eurasian range (Hubbs and Schultz 1941; Van Houdt et al. 2003). However, many recent authorities (e.g., Scott and Crossman 1973) do not designate subspecies. Burbot occupy the widest range of depths of all fishes found in the Laurentian Great Lakes basin (i.e., from small streams to at least 300 m in Lake Superior; Boyer et al. 1989). Worldwide, many Burbot populations are threatened or endangered or have been extirpated (reviewed by Stapanian et al. 2010). Due in part to its unpopularity as a sport and commercial fish in much of its range, the species is often ignored in fish management and conservation programs (McPhail and Paragamian 2000; Stapanian et al. 2008, 2010). Even basic information on Burbot ecology, particularly its early life history and spawning habitats and sites, is lacking. This lack of information is particularly troubling because Burbot are an indicator of the health of coldwater systems (Stapanian et al. 2010). Efforts to rehabilitate or restore imperiled populations include culturing early life stages. Burbot larvae are difficult to culture for a variety of reasons, including their delicate body structure, small size at hatch, and live-feed requirement for at least 5 weeks following alimentary tract development.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Introduction to a special section: Ecology, culture, and management of Burbot
Series title Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
DOI 10.1080/00028487.2013.837097
Volume 142
Issue 6
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher American Fisheries Society
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 3 p.
First page 1659
Last page 1661
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N