Usu AFS went ice fishing for burbot at Flaming Gorge Reservoir (UT/WY) on 23-24 January 2016. We caught five burbot and two lake trout. On the morning of the 24th we helped the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) with the Burbot Bash check-in station. Some members helped anglers count their burbot and scan them for tags. Others helped the WGFD extract otoliths (inner ear bone) on roughly 150 burbot for some age and growth work. Otoliths are small calcium carbonate structures that are commonly used to age fish. In the winter, the calcium carbonate lays down thick layers, creating rings, or annuli. We can age fish by counting the annuli, just as foresters age a tree by counting the rings in a cross section.
We want to thank the folks at UDWR and WGFD for allowing us to help!