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Northern Pike
Photo: Northern Pike, Esox lucius.
Northern pike, Esox lucius
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Where are they found? AsiaEuropeNorth America

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One of the most voracious predators in Canada, northern pike often consume prey half their own length. Their prey includes minnows, frogs, crayfish, mice, muskrats, ducklings and even their own kind.

Northern pike are primarily freshwater fish. The species occurs in most of Canada, with the exception of the Maritime Provinces. It is also found across Europe and Asia.

Adult northern pike range in length from 46 to 100 cm (18 to 39 in.).

Unlike the muskellunge, hooked pike fight in the depths rather than leaping from the water. As a sport fish, it is usually taken by trolling with large spoons, plugs or large bait fish.


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Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy).

Meet the Relatives!

Meet muskellunge,
a member of the pike family!


To cite this page for personal use:
“Northern Pike”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
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Illustration: Common Mola (Mola mola).

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Common mola, Atlantic cod and Atlantic hagfish: Added as part of our national Water Project.

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