Two Ohio State Record Burbot Caught Recently:

Article Posted: January 10, 2000

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Two State Record Burbot Caught Recently

SANDUSKY, OHIO - Anglers fishing Lake Erie near the mouth of the
Grand River in Fairport Harbor this winter are reeling in some lunker
catches of a fish most people think long went by the wayside. Two potential
state record burbot were caught over the past two weeks, reports the Ohio
Division of Wildlife.
Mike Hepker, of Sandusky, was fishing the waters of Lake Erie from
the Fairport Harbor pier on December 16 when he caught a 12-pound, 10-ounce
burbot. Hepker turned in the proper paper work to the Outdoor Writers of
Ohio (OWO), the organization that officially certifies all of Ohio's all
tackle state record fish. The burbot surpassed the previous state record
burbot, an 11.95-pound burbot caught in April 1998 by a Conneaut angler.
Within just a few days, yet another potential state record burbot was caught
at the Fairport Harbor pier. Bud Clute, of Chardon, landed a 17.33-pound
burbot from the pier on December 20, easily surpassing Hepker's fish. After
accounting for the time involved in processing the State Record Fish paper
work, Hepker's fish was recognized as the state record burbot for only one
day before Clute's fish was officially certified as the new state record
* more -

State Record Burbot-2-2-2-2
"Two state record burbot from the Fairport Harbor pier is not all that
surprising," said Kevin Kayle, Aquatic Biology Supervisor of the Division's
Fairport Fish Station. Kayle states that adult burbot congregate at large
river mouths in the late fall and early winter to feast on abundant forage
fish like gizzard shad, smelt, and shiners. They also congregate in these
areas before they spawn, which makes for some very heavy female burbot
available to anglers. It would not be unexpected that the new record is
also short-lived.
"We may see a large burbot tip the scales at close to twenty pounds," Kayle
said. He also noted that the recovery of the burbot in Lake Erie in the
last decade has been due to changing lake conditions, good reproduction and
growing conditions, and lack of a concentrated fishery for burbot.
Increased catches of burbot throughout the 1990s indicate their numbers are
on the rise in Lake Erie's Central Basin, after extremely low numbers in the
This unusual-looking fish is a freshwater relative of the Atlantic cod
family and resembles no other fish species in Lake Erie. Burbot have a
large head with a single barbel at the tip of the chin. A fin extends down
the back to its belly. Adult burbot normally range in size from 16-32
inches and weigh 5-12 pounds. They are voracious night predators and feed
upon a variety of species of small fish, such as shiners, used by most
anglers in pursuit of burbot. Burbot are also often referred to as
freshwater cod, lawyers, lingcod, and eelpout.

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