Four species within the pike family are found in New York, one of which includes two distinct sub-species (chain pickerel and grass pickerel). These ambush predators are known for their voracious appetites, feeding on prey fish -- including other pike their own size or smaller -- from the time that they hatch. Because they are such aggressive predators, they are also popular fish for anglers to catch.
Members of the pike family have a long, streamlined profile that is found among predators in many fish families throughout the world. Their fins are soft rayed, lacking the stiff spines found in other familiar fishes, such as sunfish and yellow perch. Median fins include the dorsal and anal fins, located opposite each other about three-quarters of the way back towards the tail. Members of the pike family do not have an adipose fin. Two sets of paired fins, the pelvic and pectoral, are present. The pelvic fins are located midway on the fish's belly. The pectoral fins are positioned closer to the head.
Chain Pickerel (Esox niger)
Grass Pickerel (Esox americanus vermiculatus)
Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy)
Northern Pike (Esox lucius)
Redfin Pickerel (Esox americanus americanus)
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