Moose Country Minute – January 28 2017



A friend of mine who lives in the Orillia area sent me a link to the Orillia Packet with a story about a local fisherman hoping to break the Ontario record for burbot.

Burbot is a fish, a relative of the ling, and the only member of the cod family to live in fresh water.

Burbot like deep, cold water, spawn under the ice, and are greedy as hell, often eating other fish that rival their size.

The fisherman, and former fishing guide, is Sebastien Roy, and the burbot he caught at the north end of Lake Simcoe was pushing 18 lbs.

There is a picture of him in the Packet with the fish in his arms, and it is one massive and ugly creature.

The record for Ontario, thus far, is apparently a burbot pulled from Jesse Lake, near Nipigon, but the story didn’t tell me how big that fish was.

What’s with reporters nowadays? That’s what I want to know.

Anyhow, I found out by looking elsewhere. It’s 16.8 lbs. That’s the record for Ontario, at least until Sebastien Roy’s catch in confirmed and registered.

The world record for a burbot, 25 lbs., 2 oz., was caught in 2010 in Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan.

The burbot is such a tenacious predator, in fact, that certain jurisdictions have a catch and kill policy in order to help protect brown trout and whitefish species.

Me? I always thought Lake Simcoe was too shallow for depth-loving fish like burbot and ling, but Wikipedia tells me it has maximum depths as deep as 41 metres.

By the way, burbot are apparently turning up regularly at the end of ice-fishing lines. So head on up to Lake Simcoe.


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