Burbot is the fish of the winter. It is active in cold waters in its search for nutrition. In Kukkolankoski rapids burbot is caught in mid-winter, from December to March.
The traditional fishermen of Kukkolankoski catch burbot with a trap the way it has been done for centuries. The season starts when ice covers the water. Fishermen check their traps from above the ice cover. Climate change affects also traditional fishing: hopefully ice forms also in the future.
To catch burbot the trap needs to be placed in the right spot under the water. Streams can be slightly directed by building wooden fences or other structures under the water. The trap can also be placed between or next to some stones.
Burbot is caught with a big net trapt. The fisherman checks the trap daily. Burbot can be kept in a container under the water for some days before utilizing it.
Burbot is a low fat fish and remains fresh for a long time when stored carefully. The most well-known delicacy is burbot soup. Oven baking is also popular.
Spots for winter fishing are handed out in an auction in August. One fisherman can have several spots and several traps. The fishing right is personal, the spots are defined in the auction and they remain the same for the whole season. The auction also covers lamprey fishing in the autumn.