Northern Pike

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Game Fish Species of British Columbia

Northern Pike
Northern Pike

Esox lucius or Pike, Great Northern Pike,
Jack, Jackfish, Pickerel

DESCRIPTION - Of all species in Western Canada the Northern Pike is considered the monster. A large Northern Pike is over 4 feet long with a slimy, serpentine body and clamp-like jaws with many fangs pointing backwards. The basic colouring of the pike is light spots on a darker backing, the back being a brilliant green through olive-green to almost brown. The eyes are a brilliant yellow.

DISTRIBUTION - The Northern Pike is primarily a freshwater fish found in clear, warm, slowly meandering rivers and in the warm, weedy bays of lakes. They occur throughout the four western provinces of Canada.

BIOLOGY - The Northern Pike is a spring spawner who scatters its eggs at random throughout the heavily vegetated floodplains of rivers, marshes and lakes. The eggs hatch 12-14 days later. Life expectancy ranges from 10-26 years according to the area. Adults feed largely on other fish as well as frogs, crayfish, mice, muskrats and ducklings.

RELATION TO MAN - In most areas in Canada it is both a commercial and sport fish. It is a delicious food; the flesh is white, sweet and flaky.

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Northern Pike