Burbot (Lota lota) are native to Washington state and are found in several lakes in the Columbia River Basin.
The fish colonized Columbia River reservoirs as dams were constructed. Burbot typically inhabit deep water and are most active at night. Burbot are predatory, feeding on invertebrates as juveniles. Prey fish becoming an increasingly important part of a burbot’s diet as they reach larger sizes.
Increasing numbers of burbot have been observed in some areas of the Mid-Columbia. Past investigations have failed to record meaningful numbers of adult burbot, possibly due to sampling bias associated with the methods used.
In an effort to better characterize the burbot population, Columbia Research manages a burbot study to determine size, age structure, abundance, density, growth rates, and to identify distribution and habitat selection. Of particular interest is the recruitment of juvenile burbot within the population. This will be indicated by the presence of juvenile burbot present during field sampling projects.