The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Esox americanus americanus
Esox americanus americanus
(Redfin Pickerel)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Esox americanus americanus Gmelin, 1789

Common name: Redfin Pickerel

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: According to Page and Burr 1991, the Redfin pickerel has a fully scaled cheek and opercle.  There is a black suborbital bar slanted toward the posterior.  The dorsal surface is dark olive-brown and the ventral side ranges from white to amber colored.  There are typically 15-36 dark bars on the lateral side of the adults.  There are between 11-13 branchiostegal rays; about 4 submandibular pores; and 92-118 lateral scales (Page and Burr 1991).

Size: Up to 15 inches (28 cm)

Native Range: E. a. americanus is species is found along the Atlantic slope from Massachusetts to Lake Okeechobee in Florida; in the Gulf drainages west to the Pascagoula River in Mississippi (Crossman 1978; Page and Burr 2011). 

Individuals in the south and southwestern part of the range are intergrades with E. a. vermiculatus (Crossman 1978; Lee et al. 1981).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Esox americanus americanus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
ME200920091Maine Coastal
PA197919862Lower Monongahela; Youghiogheny
SC201920191Bulls Bay
VT195819862Otter Creek; Richelieu

Table last updated 6/16/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: This species can be found in lakes, swamps, backwaters, and sluggish pools of streams.  Typically found in clear water among vegetation (Page and Burr 1991). 

Means of Introduction: Typically stocked for sport.  Its presence in the Lake Champlain drainage is the result of a canal connection to the native range in the Hudson River (Crossman 1978).

Status: Established in the Lake Champlain/Richlieu drainage (Crossman 1978; Page and Burr 2011).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Hocutte, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the Fishes of the Central Appalachians and Central Atlantic Coastal Plain. In C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes.  pp. 161-212.

Lee, D.A., S.P. Platania, C.R. Gilbert, R. Franz, and A. Norden.  1981.  A revised list of the freshwater fishes of Maryland and Delaware.  Southeastern Fishes Council Proceedings, 3(3): 1-10.

Page, L. M. and B. M. Burr. 1991.  Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.  pp. 432.

Underhill, J. C. 1986.  The fish fauna of the Laurentian Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence lowlands, Newfoundland, and Labrador. IN C.H. Hocutt, and E.O., Wiley, eds. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes.  pp. 105-136.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam L. Fuller, and Griffin E. Sheehy

Revision Date: 6/29/2023

Peer Review Date: 3/3/2015

Citation Information:
Pam L. Fuller, and Griffin E. Sheehy, 2024, Esox americanus americanus Gmelin, 1789: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=674, Revision Date: 6/29/2023, Peer Review Date: 3/3/2015, Access Date: 6/16/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/16/2024].

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