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Chain Pickerel
Chain Pickerel,  Esox niger

Physical Description: 
�	Elongate, slightly compressed body
�	Chain-patterned body, pale-finned
�	Single dorsal and anal fins are far posterior on the body, the tail is forked
�	Head slopes to a point; jaws are long and duckbill-shaped, with a slight underbite; long snout
�	Terminal mouth with sharp teeth
�	Line runs down from the eye; the jaw extends to eye

Similar species: 
�	Redfin pickerel (Esox americanus)

Mean body size:
�	Adults are 350-500 mm total length

�	Sluggish creeks, rivers, ditches, ponds, and lakes 
�	Adults occupy deep water in the day and shallow water at night
Distribution in VA:
�	Native to Atlantic slope drainages

Food Habits:  
�	Small fish eat small crustaceans and insects 
�	Larger fish eat mostly fish 

Reproductive Habits: 
�	Mature between the ages of 1 to 4
�	Spawning occurs in February and March at 2-22�C
�	Spawning occurs in lake and stream shallows in submerged vegetation
�	Fecundity is 342-8,140 eggs per female

Population Status, Economic, or Ecological Importance: 
�	Worthy gamefish, and is good to eat


Jenkins, R.E and N.M. Burkhead. 1993. Freshwater Fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.
If you are seeking more information for the above species click on the VAFWIS logo (The Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service):

Chain Pickerel
Chain Pickerel
Northern Pike
Northern Pike
Redfin Pike
Redfin Pike
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