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 multichannel acoustic recorder, the AMAR G3.
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.