The Burbot (Lota lota) is a species of fish that is the only freshwater member of the cod family, Gadidae. It is also known as the Lawyer and Eelpout. It is found in streams and lakes of North America and Europe above 40Â°N latitude. Though found in all the Great Lakes, it is most common in Lake Erie. It is possibly extinct in Britain as no specimens have been caught since the 1970s. This species has also been dubbed “po’ man’s lobster” as its meat tastes similar to lobster meat when cooked.
The burbot has a thin, elongated body that tapers to a point near the tail. Its major distinguishing characteristic is a “chin whisker”, and dorsal and anal fins that run from the middle of the body almost to the tail. The tail is rounded rather than fork shaped. The mouth is quite large and contains numerous rows of small teeth that slant back toward the throat. Burbot have mottled olive-black or brown skin interspersed with yellow patches. Burbot have small, almost microscopic scales.
Burbots are unique as having a liver that is six times larger than other freshwater fish of equal size. The liver oil of the Burbot is also 3 to 4 times more potent in Vitamin D and 4 to 10 times more potent in Vitamin A than other grades of cod liver oil. It is lower in viscosity and is more rapidly digested as well.