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Fish

 

Pike

Muskellunge, Esox masquinongy.
Muskellunge,
Esox masquinongy.

Class: Bony fish
Order: Pike, smelt, salmon, and trout
Family: Pike

Species found in the Rideau River: Northern pike, muskellunge

Characteristics of the family:
Pike have long, torpedo-shaped bodies and duckbill-shaped jaws. The dorsal fin is set well back along the body. Pike have large teeth on their jaws and tongue.


Representative species: Muskellunge
Description Long, torpedo-shaped body with a green or brown back and lighter, yellow-green sides. The belly is white or yellowish. The duckbill-shaped jaws have large teeth covering the jaws and tongue. The dorsal fin is set well back along the body.
Size 0.7 m to 1.2 m
Distribution Range is eastern Canada (Manitoba to New Brunswick) and eastern U.S.A. (as far south as Georgia).
Habitat In vegetation in lakes or slower sections of large rivers.
Food Zooplanktons, fish, frogs, muskrats, waterfowl.
Life cycle Muskellunge spawn in spring. The eggs are randomly scattered over dense vegetation. They do not care for their young or build nests. Lifespan is up to 15 years.
Interesting facts The muskellunge is one of Canada's largest freshwater fish, second only to the sturgeon.

 

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Muskellunge, Esox masquinongy.
Muskellunge,
Esox masquinongy.


A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Hemera, Smithsonian Institution, NMNH, Division of Fishes