CBC News recently interviewed Dr. Peter Cott of Environment and Natural Resources (Government of the Northwest Territories) and adjunct at the University of Alberta. Cott has been studying sounds made by burbot under the ice at Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The fish were held in a large experimental enclosure called the Lota-tron, a cubical net pen 10 m per side. Their calls were recorded with JASCO’s autonomous multi-channel acoustic recorder, the AMAR.
The highlights of the study’s findings are:
- Burbot vocalized under ice during their spawning period
- Calling was most frequent at the start of spawning
- Sounds were stereotypical of calls generated by swim bladder
- Calls were almost identical to those of the closely related haddock
- Vocalizations are important to cod mating
Cott, P.A., A.D. Hawkins, D. Zeddies, B. Martin, T.A. Johnston, J.D. Reist, J.M. Gunn, and D.M. Higgs. In press. Song of the burbot: Under-ice acoustic signaling by a freshwater gadoid fish. J. Great Lakes Res.