Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Montana Fishery
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Montana Fishery Project

Lake Roosevelt burbot maturation study

December 2016 - January 2019


Participating Agencies

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

Sexual dimorphism in Burbot, Lota lota, can be difficult to discern as the species is seemingly monomorphic (Cott et al., 2013). Burbot spawn over a relatively short time frame (Arndt and Hutchinson, 2000; McPhail and Paragamian, 2000) indicating that the species has synchronous gonadal development. Reliable information regarding gametogenesis is required for population status assessment and harvest modeling. The objectives of this proposed work are to 1) describe gametogenesis and the endocrine profile in adult Lake Roosevelt Burbot, 2) develop non-invasive (ultrasound) and less-invasive (plasma sex steroids) tools to determine sex and stage of maturity, and 3) develop non-invasive (egg diameter via ultrasound) and non-lethal invasive (collection of gametes through catheterization) tools to predict spawning readiness and successful spawning.