Lota lotaThis is the only freshwater cod. It has two dorsal fins: the first is small (9-16 rays), the second and anal stretch back to the caudal fin but do not merge. The head is somewhat flat. The upper jaw is protruding. There is a well-developed barb on the chin. The jaws and the vomer are armed with bristly teeth. Burbot’s body is covered in fine cycloid scales planted deep into skin and prolifically oozing slime. The body colors vary; commonly the back is green or olive green, mottled with black-brown spots and stripes. The throat and belly are gray. The burbot remains cryophilic – a typical feature for cods. It inhabits the northern hemisphere only, in rivers and lakes of Europe, Asia and America. It is a major commercial fish of the Pskov-PeipsiLake. Burbot like clean and cold water, and prefer rocky soils. Sometimes they go down to estuaries. They spawn during winter, under the cover of ice. Their roe is smallish, with a fat drop, developing in the lower layers above the bottom. In the summer, in water temperatures exceeding 15-16°С burbot hibernate and almost stops feeding – this is when it hides under rocks and snags, or in shore holes. With the autumnal cooling they become more active and start intensive foraging. Adult burbot predominantly feed on small fish, and some insect-larvae and crustaceans. They grow slowly, as most cods. Upon year 6-7 they reach up to 60-70 cm 1.5-1.6 kg of weight; they can grow 120 cm long and weigh up to 24 kilos.

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