Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Biology (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Jill Leonard


Burbot (Lota lota) are a cryophilic freshwater fish native to many cold-water systems in the Northern Hemisphere. Within the Great Lakes, current fishing regulations and increasing popularity are leading to interest in population dynamics and the sustainability of current regulations. To understand population dynamics, it is important to better understand the reproductive ecology of burbot. Currently, little is known about the reproductive ecology and the variation within reproductive behavior of burbot. In this study I evaluated the reproductive ecology of southern Lake Superior burbot by characterizing the timing of reproductively maturing adult burbot and assessing the final oocyte maturation process. Samples were collected during two sampling seasons, which spanned from December to April. Riverine collected burbot had high proportions (>90%) of reproductively maturing individuals matched with females in the final stages of oocyte development during a short (3-5 week) period. Alternatively, lacustrine collected burbot had low proportions (24%) of reproductively maturing individuals and low proportions of females within the final stages of oocyte development (16%). Unlike riverine captures, lacustrine captured individuals indicated a prolonged presence of reproductively maturing individuals that lasts from December to at least early April. These results suggest variation within the reproductive ecology of Lake Superior residing burbot.

Access Type

Open Access

Justification for Restricting Access

Intend on publishing the work contained within this thesis

Available for download on Sunday, July 02, 2028