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Dieren en planten

Water en land

  • Dut: Kwabaal (aalkwab, aalpad, aalskoet, kwab, kwabbe, kwalaal, merkor, pudde, puitaal, rauwweeraal, weeraal)
  • Lat: Lota lota
  • Eng: Burbot
  • Ger: Quappe (Rutte)
  • Fre: Lote de rivière


Burbot is the only cod species that lives in fresh water. It is found in clear moving water or in clean deep lakes. During the day, the fish hides in the depths or under stones or hollows. The fish hunts actively at dusk and at night. Just like cod, it has a barbel on its chin, which it uses to search the bottom for food. When the burbot is young, it eats mostly insect larvae, gammarids and water louse. After growing to 20-40 centimeters, the fish switches over to a diet of fish.

  • Reproduction

    Mating season is not in the spring but in the winter. When mating, the fish form dense schools of dozens of specimen in shallow water. Sometimes they are visible under the ice. The eggs are laid on clean sand in shallow water. They are sticky and sink to the bottom. When the water begins to warm up in the spring, there are lots of small larvae in the water. And that is just what young burbots need to eat.

  • Help the burbot

    There are much fewer burbots than there used to be. The population has declined due to a lack of suitable spawning grounds and nurseries. The fish is dependent upon months of flooding, which doesn't happen as much nowadays. Burbots can be helped by improving the water quality, less strict water level management and allowing streams to meander like they used to.

  • Distribution and habitat

    Burbots are found in all of North America, Asia and Europe, above latitude 45° N. They live in fresh water. In the Netherlands, you find them particularly in the Utrecht lake region, in Friesland and in the major rivers.