Cusk

Cusk

Common Name: Cusk

Other Names: Burbot, Lawyer Fish (Great Lake states), Freshwater Cod

Scientific Name: Lota lota

Origin: Native

Adult Size: Sexual maturity is usually attained during the third or fourth year. Males often mature at a smaller size than females. Aged (otoliths) Maine cusk average 18 inches and 24 ounces in their eight year of growth, 20 inches and 32 ounces in their tenth year, and 24 inches and 62 ounces in their thirteenth year. The largest angler-caught cusk recorded in Maine was 18 pounds 8 ounces.

Identification: Cusk have an elongated body with a broad, flattened triangular head. The mouth is large and wide. A single chin barbel adorns the lower jaw. Scales are small and embedded giving burbot the appearance of being slimy. The anal and dorsal fins run nearly half the length of the body. In Maine, coloration ranges from a tan to dark brown background overlaid with dark brown to black mottling or spots. Some may be uniformly dark brown or black.