Common Fish Species of Northwestern Ontario





Esox lucius
Northern Pike

Northern Pike


Distinguishing Features - The Northern pike has a long, slender body and its jaws are flattened like a duck's bill. Colouration ranges from olive-green to blue-green with a lighter belly. The sides are randomly splattered with numerous light-coloured spots. The tail fin is forked with rounded lobes; cheek and upper half of the gill cover are fully scaled.

Size - Average Weight - 1 - 2 kg (2 - 4 lb) but northern pike over 12 kg (26 lb) are not uncommon.


Found throughout NW Ontario in various water conditions but primarily in shallow waters along shorelines of bays and marshes. Spawning occurs in shallow weedy bays after the spring thaw.


Confusion with the Muskellunge is possible. The northern pike is a great fighting fish with a vicious strike. Tends to feed primarily during the daylight hours. Although the main diet consists of fish, large northerns will also feed on frogs, crayfish, mice and ducklings.

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