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Great Lakes Water Life Photo Gallery

Fish

Pikes

  

Family: Esocidae - Pikes

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology

ID Guides

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Muskellunge/Northern Pike ID

Distribution and Habitat

N=Native, I=Introduced (exotic), X=Extinct, P=Extirpated

Image/Link Scientific Name Common Name Lake Superior Lake Michigan

Lake Huron

Lake Erie Lake Ontario Habitat
grass pickerel Esox americanus vermiculatus grass pickerel   N N N N stream/creek/littoral
northern pike Esox lucius northern pike N N N N N stream/creek/river/littoral
muskellunge Esox masquinongy muskellunge N N N N N stream/creek/river/littoral
chain pickerel Esox niger chain pickerel       I N stream/creek/littoral

Table modified from "The Life of the Lakes: A Guide to the Great Lakes Fishery" MI Sea Grant Extension, Michigan State University.

Species Profiles

Esox americanus vermiculatus - grass pickerel

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Fish of Indiana
Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteScientific Profile - Fishes of Wisconsin
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology

Found in quiet, weedy waters over mud bottom. Feed on fishes. Length to 35 cm.

grass pickerel

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Grass pickerel photo

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Fish of Indiana

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Esox lucius - northern pike, pickerel

Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteProfile - Wisconsin Sea Grant
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Fish of Indiana
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Inland Fishes of New York
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Identifying Michigan Sport Fish - MI DNR
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Fishes of Minnesota
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Great Lakes Field Guide - A Superior Adventure - Bell Museum
Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteScientific Profile - Fishes of Wisconsin
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology

The northern pike is a lie-in-wait pisicivore (fish-eater). Young pike start out feeding on waterfleas, copepods, and aquatic insect larvae; but once they reach 50 mm long, they switch to fish. Adult pike have been known to add the following to their basic diet of fish: frogs, sandpipers, ducks, moles, shrews, red squirrels, and full-grown muskrats. Length to 120 cm and 8 pounds.

Northern Pike drawing

GLERL WaterLife Photo Gallery

northern pike photonorthern pike photo

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Fishes of Minnesota

Other drawings/artwork:
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.GLIN TEACH
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Fish of Indiana
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.US Fish and Wildlife Service
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Inland Fishes of New York

Other photos:
Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteWI Sea Grant
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.The Virtual Aquarium at Virginia Tech

 

Esox masquinongy - muskellunge

Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteProfile - Wisconsin Sea Grant
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Inland Fishes of New York
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Identifying Michigan Sport Fish - MI DNR
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Fishes of Minnesota
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Great Lakes Field Guide - A Superior Adventure - Bell Museum
Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteScientific Profile - Fishes of Wisconsin
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Prefer cool water where temperatures stay below 26° C (80 °F), but they can endure temperatures as high as 32° C (90° F) for a limited time. Muskies most often reside in water less than 4.5 m (15 ft) deep. A piscivore (fish-eater), sometimes it lies in wait other times it fins itself along slowly until it is near enough to make the lunge. Larval muskies begin by eating waterfleas and copepods, but at about 50 mm (2 in) long, they add small fish to their diet. As do large northerns, adult muskies supplement their fish dinners with the occasional duck or muskrat. Maximum size exceeds 5 feet and nearly 70 pounds. Females grow faster and bigger than males do. The world angling record is 31.8 kg (69 lbs 15 oz), caught in the St. Lawrence River.

Tiger muskies are a hybrid of northern pike and muskellunge.

Muskellunge drawing

GLERL Waterlife Photo Gallery

Muskie photo - Shedd Aquarium

Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteWisconsin Sea Grant

Other drawings/artwork:
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.GLIN TEACH
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Inland Fishes of New York

Other photos:
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.GLIN TEACH
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.The Virtual Aquarium at Virginia Tech
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Fishes of Minnesota

 

Esox niger - chain pickerel

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Inland Fishes of New York
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology
Found in quiet, weedy waters. Feed on fishes. Length to 60 cm.

chain pickerel drawing

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.US Fish and Wildlife Service

PA State Record Chain Pickerel

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.PA Records

Other artwork:
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Inland Fishes of New York

Other photos:
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.The Virtual Aquarium at Virginia Tech

Bird iconIndicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA website.
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