We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Burbot?

By Debra Durkee
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The burbot is a long, slender freshwater fish that inhabit lakes and rivers in the cooler climates of the Northern Hemisphere. Also known as the spineless catfish, eelpout, methy, lawyer, freshwater cod, loche, mud shark, ling, or skin ling, the name burbot comes from the Latin word barba , a reference to its distinctive single chin whisker. An ugly, catfish-like fish, it is a Scandinavian delicacy and known among fishermen for its mild flesh and vitamin-rich liver.

Mature burbots typically reach lengths of between 15 and 22 inches (about 38 to 55 cm) and weigh between 1 and 3 pounds (about 0.45 and 1.4 kg). They have a long, eel-like, cylindrical bodies that are mottled olive green and brown across the back with a cream underbelly. Long fins run down the center of the back and belly from the midpoint of the fish all the way to the rounded tail. The skin of the burbot is smooth, and the scales are tiny, almost indistinguishable to the naked eye.

Vicious predators that are largely nocturnal, these slender fish prey on whitefish, lampreys, and even other burbots. When they can get them, they have also been known to eat mice. Their large mouths are well suited to their carnivorous nature, with multiple rows of small, backward-slanting teeth and powerful jaws. Up to the age of five or six, juvenile burbots also feed on invertebrates and insects.

Well adapted to the cold waters of northern climates, burbots spawn in the middle of the winter beneath the ice. Anywhere from a dozen to more than 100 burbots gather together into a writhing ball to spawn, and a single burbot can produce more than a million eggs. These long-lived, slow-growing fish can frequently live for more than 20 years, and reach their mature size at between five and seven years of age. This is also about the time they begin to spawn.

Burbot can be fished during the summer months as well as in the winter, making them a popular target for ice fishermen. They can be caught with a simple fishing pole and hook, with frozen or fresh fish used as bait. Notorious for stealing bait, the burbot can be a challenge to disengage from the hook once caught, as it can wrap its long body around the wrist of someone trying to take it off the hook. A festival called the International Eelpout Festival is held annually in Minnesota, honoring this fish native to so many of the state's many lakes.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.