The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Lota lota
Lota lota
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Lota lota (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common name: Burbot

Synonyms and Other Names: ling, freshwater codfish, eelpout

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Scott and Crossman (1973); Becker (1983); Smith (1985); Page and Burr (1991).

Size: 84 cm.

Native Range: Throughout Canada, Alaska, and northern United States (south to Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, Wyoming, and Oregon); also in northern Eurasia (Page and Burr 1991). However, Lee et al. (1980) do not depict any collections from the Pacific Northwest.

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Lota lota are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CT198020072Housatonic; Outlet Connecticut River
IA198719871Little Sioux
KY197519863Kentucky; Licking; Licking
MT199919991Flathead Lake
NJ192019522Delaware; Mid-Atlantic Region
OH192019869Licking; Little Miami; Little Scioto-Tygarts; Lower Great Miami, Indiana, Ohio; Middle Ohio-Laughery; Muskingum; Tuscarawas; Upper Great Miami, Indiana, Ohio; Upper Ohio-Beaver
UT199920151Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir
WY199920137Big Sandy; Bitter; Blacks Fork; New Fork; Upper Green; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Green-Slate

Table last updated 7/14/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked legally and illegally for sport fishing.

Status: Established in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Impact of Introduction: Competition with and predation by nonnative species (i.e., Catostomus sp., creek chub Semotilus atromaculatus, redside shiner Richardsonius balteatus, Burbot Lota lota, brown trout Salmo trutta, and lake trout Salvelinus namaycush) limit populations of the rare bluehead sucker Catostomus discobolus (Wyoming Game and Fish Department 2010).

Remarks: Hocutt et al. (1986) reported this species as possibly introduced into the Susquehanna drainage. Goode (1884) reported a single collection from the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. Cooper (1983) and Smith (1985) mention relict populations in the upper Susquehanna in New York. The Pennsylvania record may be a native. It seems likely that the Ohio River and its tributaries represent native range rather than introductions.

References: (click for full references)

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Madison Press Madison, WI.

Burr, B.M., and L.M. Page. 1986. Zoogeography of the fishes of the lower Ohio-upper Mississippi basin. Pages 287-324 in Hocutt, C.H., and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons. New York, NY.

Cooper, E.L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania and the Northeastern United States. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA.

Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Fowler, H. W. 1920. A list of the fishes of New Jersey. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 33:139-170.

Fowler, H. W. 1952. A list of the fishes of New Jersey, with off-shore species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia CIV:89-151.

Goode, G.B. 1884. The Fisheries and Fish Industries of the United States. Section I: natural history of useful aquatic animals. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Hocutt, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the fishes of the central Appalachians and central Atlantic coastal plain. Pages 161-212 in Hocutt, C.H., and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons. New York, NY.

Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980 et seq. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, NC.

Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Scott, W.B., and E.J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Volume 184. Fish. Res. Bd. Canada Bull.

Smith, C.L. 1985. The inland fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

Stiles, E. W. 1978. Vertebrates of New Jersey. Edmund W. Stiles, Somerset, NJ.

Trautman, M. B. 1981. The fishes of Ohio. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH.

Webster, D.A. 1941. The life histories of some Connecticut fishes. Pages 122-227 in A fishery survey of important Connecticut lakes. Bulletin 63. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford, CT.

Whitworth, W. R. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Bulletin 114.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 2010. Wyoming State Wildlife Action Plan - 2010. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Cheyenne, WY. Online at http://gf.state.wy.us/SWAP2010/Plan/index.asp.

Other Resources:
Distribution in Illinois - Illinois Natural History Survey

FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 8/28/2019

Peer Review Date: 9/17/2014

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2024, Lota lota (Linnaeus, 1758): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=698, Revision Date: 8/28/2019, Peer Review Date: 9/17/2014, Access Date: 7/14/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/14/2024].

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