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Species Index Game and Fish Home

Northern Pike
Esox lucius
Identifying Characteristics

Elongated body
Large dorsal and anal fins far behind the pelvis
Distinct, snout-like mouth with many large teeth
Distinguished from the muskellunge by having fully scaled cheek, rather than cheek with scales only on upper half and by having 5 sensory pores on each side of lower jaw, rather than 6 or more
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Other Information
In Wyoming, Northern pike have been introduced into Keyhole Reservoir, which is the only water the Game and Fish Department currently manages for this species.

Northern pike prefer large lakes and reservoirs with an abundance of forage fish. Eleven-to-twelve inch carp are the principal food of mature northern in Keyhole.

Spawning takes place in the early spring over flooded terrestrial vegetation. Growth rates are extremely fast. In Keyhole, some notherns have attained lengths of forty inches and weights of twenty pounds in five years.
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Angling Tips
Northern pike are caught most easily in the spring and fall. Preferred lures are large plugs and spoons cast into bays and small openings in weed beds.

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