Northern Pike

Northern Pike

Common Name: Northern Pike

Other Names: Pike, Northerns

Scientific Name: Esox lucius

Origin: Introduced

Adult Size: Sexual maturity is generally reached between 3-5 years of age, at which time pike may average between 24-30 inches long and weigh 3.5 to 7.5 pounds. Pike exceeding 30 pounds have been caught in Maine.

Identifications: Scales are present on the upper half of the gill cover, but are absent on the lower half. The cheek area (located just forward of the gill plate), is fully scaled. Pike usually have five pairs of sensory pores along the underside of the lower jaw. The cheeks and gill covers of chain pickerel are fully scaled, and generally only four pairs of sensor pores are present on the lower jaw. The pattern of markings is typically very different on adult and juvenile pike. Juvenile pike possess wavy, white to yellow vertical bars. Adults have shorter markings arranged in a more horizontal configuration. Pike can hybridize with chain pickerel, and the resulting hybrid may possess markings common to either or both species.

Know the difference between Northern Pike and Chain Pickerel.