Burbot, Lota lota (L.), populations are declining throughout much of their native distribution. Although numerous aspects of burbot ecology are well understood, less is known about effective sampling techniques for burbot in lotic systems. Occupancy models were used to estimate the probability of detection () for three gears (6.4- and 19-mm bar mesh hoop nets, night electric fishing), within the context of various habitat characteristics. During the summer, night electric fishing had the highest estimated detection probability for both juvenile (, 95% C.I.; 0.35, 0.26–0.46) and adult (0.30, 0.20–0.41) burbot. However, small-mesh hoop nets (6.4-mm bar mesh) had similar detection probabilities to night electric fishing for both juvenile (0.26, 0.17–0.36) and adult (0.27, 0.18–0.39) burbot during the summer. In autumn, a similar overlap between detection probabilities was observed for juvenile and adult burbot. Small-mesh hoop nets had the highest estimated probability of detection for both juvenile and adult burbot (0.46, 0.33–0.59), whereas night electric fishing had a detection probability of 0.39 (0.28–0.52) for juvenile and adult burbot. By using detection probabilities to compare gears, the most effective sampling technique can be identified, leading to increased species detections and more effective management of burbot.