Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Esociformes
(Pikes and mudminnows) > Esocidae
Etymology: Esox: From Greek, isox and also related with the Celtic root, eog, ehawc = salmon (Ref. 45335); masquinongy: Stemmed from an Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian name for this fish (Ref. 10294) More on author: Mitchill.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; non-migratory; depth range - m (Ref. ), usually - m (Ref. ). Temperate; 0°C - ; 53°N - 30°N
North America: Native to St. Lawrence River - Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins. Introduced elsewhere in the USA. Native populations are protected in portions of Tennessee and Ohio.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 77.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 183 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5723); common length : 95.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 31.8 kg (Ref. 3549); max. reported age: 30 years (Ref. 26373)
Lives in clear vegetated lakes, quiet pools and backwaters of creeks and small to large rivers (Ref. 205, 10294). Solitary, lurking hunter on other fishes as well as on ducklings, muskrats, and snakes. Oviparous, spawn in spring as the ice melts (Ref. 205).
Some experts believe that some form of copulation happens during breeding of this species. The female turns on her side to expose her abdomen to the male who then swims against her in a forceful movement. Aftewards, the female takes a rest and deposits her eggs in the sand. This whole activity is presumably repeated one more time (Ref. 205). Other experts believe otherwise, that only a simple and simultaneous discharge of gametes happens during breeding (Ref. 205).
Crossman, E.J., 1996. Taxonomy and distribution. p. 1-11. In J.F. Craig (ed.) Pike biology and exploration. Chapman and Hall, London. 298 p. (Ref. 26373)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5157 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00479 (0.00364 - 0.00630), b=3.08 (3.02 - 3.14), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.3 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 6.4 (5.3 - 7.1) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 24 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.07-0.15; tmax=30).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (65 of 100) .