Esox lucius - Linnaeus, 1758
Northern Pike
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758 (TSN 162139)
French Common Names: grand brochet
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102929
Element Code: AFCHD01020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Other Bony Fishes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Esociformes Esocidae Esox
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Esox lucius
Taxonomic Comments: May hybridize with other esocids (e.g., where pike introduced).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 17Aug2015
Global Status Last Changed: 13Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Dec1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (17Aug2015)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alaska (SNA), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Georgia (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (S4), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S5), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNA), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNR), Missouri (S4), Montana (S5), Navajo Nation (SNA), Nebraska (S4), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (S5), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (S4), Oklahoma (SNA), Pennsylvania (S3S4), Rhode Island (SNA), South Dakota (S5), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (S4), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (S5), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (S5), British Columbia (S5), Labrador (S5), Manitoba (S5), Newfoundland Island (SNR), Northwest Territories (S5), Nunavut (S4S5), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S5), Saskatchewan (S5), Yukon Territory (S5)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range is Holarctic and includes the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins from Alaska to Labrador, south to Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Nebraska (Page and Burr 2011). This species has been introduced in many areas southward of the native range.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but very large.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats are known.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Range is Holarctic and includes the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins from Alaska to Labrador, south to Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Nebraska (Page and Burr 2011). This species has been introduced in many areas southward of the native range.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AKexotic, ARexotic, AZexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, GAexotic, IA, IDexotic, IL, IN, KSexotic, KYexotic, MAexotic, MDexotic, MEexotic, MI, MN, MO, MT, NCexotic, ND, NE, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NNexotic, NVexotic, NY, OH, OKexotic, PA, RIexotic, SD, TNexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VT, WAexotic, WI, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NF, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AK Yakutat (02282)
MO Atchison (29005)*, Boone (29019)*, Callaway (29027), Cole (29051)*, Franklin (29071)*, Macon (29121), Maries (29125)*, Marion (29127), Miller (29131)*, Osage (29151)*, Saline (29195)*, St. Charles (29183)*, St. Louis (29189)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Lake George (02010001), Otter (02010002), Winooski (02010003), Ausable (02010004), Lamoille (02010005), Great Chazy-Saranac (02010006), Missisquoi (02010007)
04 Beartrap-Nemadji (04010301), Bad-Montreal (04010302), Black-Presque Isle (04020101), Ontonagon (04020102), Lake Superior (04020300), Manitowoc-Sheboygan (04030101), Door-Kewaunee (04030102), Duck-Pensaukee (04030103), Oconto (04030104), Peshtigo (04030105), Brule (04030106), Menominee (04030108), Upper Fox (04030201), Wolf (04030202), Lake Winnebago (04030203), Lower Fox (04030204), Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)*, Pike-Root (04040002), Milwaukee (04040003), Lake Michigan (04060200), Ottawa-Stony (04100001), St. Joseph (04100003)*, Upper Maumee (04100005)*, Tiffin (04100006), Auglaize (04100007), Blanchard (04100008), Lower Maumee (04100009), Cedar-Portage (04100010)*, Sandusky (04100011), Huron-Vermilion (04100012), Black-Rocky (04110001), Cuyahoga (04110002), Grand (04110004)*, Chautauqua-Conneaut (04120101), Cattaraugus (04120102), Buffalo-Eighteenmile (04120103), Niagara (04120104), Lake Erie (04120200)*, Oak Orchard-Twelvemile (04130001), Upper Genesee (04130002), Lower Genesee (04130003), Irondequoit-Ninemile (04140101), Salmon-Sandy (04140102), Seneca (04140201), Oneida (04140202), Black (04150101), Chaumont-Perch (04150102), Upper St. Lawrence (04150301), Indian (04150303), Grass (04150304), Raquette (04150305), St. Regis (04150306), English-Salmon (04150307)
05 Upper Ohio (05030101), Shenango (05030102), Mahoning (05030103), Upper Ohio-Wheeling (05030106), Hocking (05030204), Tuscarawas (05040001), Mohican (05040002), Muskingum (05040004), Licking (05040006)*, Upper Scioto (05060001), Paint (05060003), Upper Great Miami (05080001), Lower Great Miami (05080002)*, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101), Upper Wabash (05120101), Vermilion (05120109), Embarras (05120112)
07 Mississippi Headwaters (07010101), Prairie-Willow (07010103), Upper Minnesota (07020001), Upper St. Croix (07030001), Namekagon (07030002), Lower St. Croix (07030005), Rush-Vermillion (07040001), Buffalo-Whitewater (07040003), Trempealeau (07040005), La Crosse-Pine (07040006), Black (07040007), Upper Chippewa (07050001), Flambeau (07050002), South Fork Flambeau (07050003), Jump (07050004), Lower Chippewa (07050005), Red Cedar (07050007), Coon-Yellow (07060001), Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003), Turkey (07060004), Apple-Plum (07060005), Maquoketa (07060006), Upper Wisconsin (07070001), Lake Dubay (07070002), Castle Rock (07070003), Baraboo (07070004), Lower Wisconsin (07070005), Kickapoo (07070006), Copperas-Duck (07080101), Upper Wapsipinicon (07080102), Lower Wapsipinicon (07080103), South Skunk (07080105), North Skunk (07080106), Skunk (07080107)*, Upper Cedar (07080201), Shell Rock (07080202), Winnebago (07080203), West Fork Cedar (07080204), Middle Cedar (07080205), Lower Cedar (07080206), Upper Iowa (07080207), Middle Iowa (07080208), Upper Rock (07090001), Crawfish (07090002), Pecatonica (07090003), Sugar (07090004), Lower Rock (07090005)*, Kishwaukee (07090006), Upper Des Moines (07100002), East Fork Des Moines (07100003), Middle Des Moines (07100004), Boone (07100005)*, North Raccoon (07100006), South Raccoon (07100007)*, Lake Red Rock (07100008), Lower Des Moines (07100009), Bear-Wyaconda (07110001)+, The Sny (07110004)+*, Peruque-Piasa (07110009)+, Kankakee (07120001), Iroquois (07120002), Des Plaines (07120004), Upper Illinois (07120005), Upper Fox (07120006), Lower Illinois-Senachwine Lake (07130001), Lower Illinois-Lake Chautauqua (07130003)*, Meramec (07140102)+, Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105)
08 Upper St. Francis (08020202)
09 Mustinka (09020102), Goose (09020109), Middle Sheyenne (09020203)
10 St. Mary (10010002), Ponca (10150001), Middle Niobrara (10150004), Snake (10150005), Keya Paha (10150006), Lower Niobrara (10150007), James Headwaters (10160001), Upper James (10160003), Elm (10160004), Middle James (10160006), North Big Sioux Coteau (10160010), Lewis and Clark Lake (10170101), South Big Sioux Coteau (10170103), Middle Big Sioux Coteau (10170201), Upper Big Sioux (10170202), Lower Big Sioux (10170203)*, Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff (10180009), Lower North Platte (10180014), Middle Platte-Buffalo (10200101), Wood (10200102), Middle Platte-Prairie (10200103), Lower Platte-Shell (10200201), Lower Platte (10200202), Salt (10200203), Upper Middle Loup (10210001), Dismal (10210002), Lower Middle Loup (10210003), South Loup (10210004), Mud (10210005), Upper North Loup (10210006), Lower North Loup (10210007), Calamus (10210008), Loup (10210009), Cedar (10210010), Upper Elkhorn (10220001), North Fork Elkhorn (10220002), Lower Elkhorn (10220003), Logan (10220004), Blackbird-Soldier (10230001), Floyd (10230002)*, Little Sioux (10230003), Monona-Harrison Ditch (10230004), Big Papillion-Mosquito (10230006), Boyer (10230007), Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Independence-Sugar (10240011), Medicine (10250008), Harlan County Reservoir (10250009), Middle Republican (10250016), Upper Little Blue (10270206), Upper Grand (10280101), Little Chariton (10280203)+, Lower Osage (10290111)+, Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101), Lower Missouri-Moreau (10300102)+, Blackwater (10300104)+
19 Yakutat Bay (19010401)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
Help
Reproduction Comments: Spawns in spring as soon as ice begins to break up. Produces a single clutch per year. Eggs hatch in 12-14 days at typically prevailing temperatures. Males sexually mature at 1-2 years in south, at age 5 in north; females mature at 2-3 years in south, at age 6 in north.
Ecology Comments: Adults solitary except at spawning. Evidence from New England indicates that landlocked populations of Atlantic salmon may be negatively influenced as abundance of northern pike and/or ESOX hybrids increases.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: May migrate between spawning and nonspawning habitats.
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Habitat Comments: This fish usually occurs in clear small lakes, shallow vegetated areas of larger lakes, marshes, creeks, and small to large rivers. It moves to deeper cooler water in summer. Spawning occurs in shallow flooded marshes associated with lakes, inlet streams to those lakes (or flooded terrestrial vegetation at reservoir edge), or rivers; spawning habitat is basically a flooded area with emergent vegetation (optimally over short grasses or sedges). Young remain in spawning habitat for several weeks after hatching.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Young initially eat large zooplankton and immature aquatic insects. After 7-10 days fishes begin to enter diet and eventually dominate. Adults feed opportunistically on vertebrates small enough to be engulfed. (Scott and Crossman 1973). Sight feeder.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Phenology Comments: Feeds diurnally. Active and feeds in winter under ice.
Length: 133 centimeters
Economic Attributes
Help
Economic Comments: Highly prized game fish. Extensively cultured in Europe. (Sublette et al. 1990).
Management Summary
Help
Species Impacts: Where introduced, this fish can be a threat to native fish species.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Pikes and Pickerels

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Dam; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Data on dispersal and other movements generally are not available. However, individual muskellunge may migrate up to at least 40 km between spawning areas and nonspawning areas (Becker 1983), so occurrences may be large. It is important to evaluate seasonal changes in habitat to ensure that an occupied habitat occurrence for a particular population does not artificially separate spawning areas and nonspawning areas as different occurrences.
Separation distances (in stream kilometers) are arbitrary but reflect the probability that these relatively large fishes move large distances and so warrant a large separation distance. Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality. A gap of 10 km or more of any apparently unoccupied aquatic habitat separates occurrences.

Date: 21May2001
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Dec2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 01Dec2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Aquin, P. 1999. Évaluation de la situation des groupes taxonomiques des poissons du Québec. Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune. 9 pages.

  • Atton, F.M. and J.J. Merkowsky. 1983. Atlas of Saskatchewan Fish. Saskatchewan Department of Parks and Renewable Resources, Fisheries Branch Technical Report 83-2. 281pp.

  • Buss, K. 1961b. A literature survey of the life history and culture of the northern pike. Pennsylvania Fish Commission Benner Spring Fisheries Research Station Special Purpose Report. 58 pp.

  • Carbine, W.F. 1942. Observations on the life history of the northern pike, Esox lucius L., in Houghton Lake, Michigan. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 71(1941):149-164.

  • Crossman, E. J., and J. M. Casselman. 1987. An annotated bibliography of the pike, Esox lucius (Osteichthyes: Salmoniformes). Royal Ontario Mus. 408 pp.

  • Fisheries Branch. 1991. Fish Species Distributions in Saskatchewan. Report 91-7. Saskatchewan Parks and Renewable Resources, Fisheries Branch. Regina. 102pp.

  • Legendre, V. et J.F. Bergeron. 1977. Liste des poissons d' eau douce du Québec. MLCP, Service Aménage. Expl. Faune. Rap. dact. 6

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Raat, A. J. P. 1988. Synopsis of biological data on the northern pike Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 30 Rev. 2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. 178 pp.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Scott, W. B., and E. J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Bulletin 184. 966 pp.

  • Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman. 1979. Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Bull. 84. 966pp.

  • Sublette, J. E., M. D Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 393 pp.

  • Threinen, C. W., C. Wistrom, B. Apelgren, and H. Snow. 1966. The northern pike, life history, ecology, and management. Wis. Conserv. Dep. Publ. No. 235. 16 pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Becker, G. C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 1,052 pp.

  • Cooper, E. L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park. 243 pp.

  • Fago, D. 2000. Relative abundance and distribution of fishes in Wisconsin. Fish Distribution Database to year 2000. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

  • Harlan, J. R., E. B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew. 1987. Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa. 323 pp.

  • Holton, G. D. and H. E. Johnson. 2003. A field guide to Montana fishes, 3rd Edition. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Helena, MT.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Owen, J. B., D. S. Elsen and G. W. Russell. 1981. Distribution of fishes in North and South Dakota basins affected by the Garrison Diversion Unit. University of North Dakota Press, Grand Forks, North Dakota. 211 pp.

  • Pflieger, W. L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation. Columbia, Missouri. viii + 343 pp.

  • Smith, C. L. 1983. Fishes of New York (maps and printout of a draft section on scarce fishes of New York). Unpublished draft.

  • Smith, P. W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana. 314 pp.

  • Trautman, M. B. 1981. The fishes of Ohio. Second edition. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, Ohio. 782 pp.

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