Disclaimer:

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 lucius
Esox lucius
(Northern Pike)
Fishes
Native Transplant
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Copyright Info
Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758

Common name: Northern Pike

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Scott and Crossman (1973); Pflieger (1975); Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991).

Size: 133 cm.

Native Range: Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins from Labrador to Alaska and south to Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Nebraska (Page and Burr 1991). Native to Montana in the South Saskatchewan River Drainage (Holton and Johnson 1996). 

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Alaska
Hawaii auto-generated map
Hawaii
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
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 lucius are found here.

StateYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
Alaska197220108Anchorage; Lower Kenai Peninsula; Lower Susitna River; Matanuska; South Central Alaska; Upper Kenai Peninsula; Upper Susitna River; Yentna River
Arizona1967200410Big Chino-Williamson Valley; Bill Williams; Canyon Diablo; Havasu Canyon; Lower Colorado Region; Lower Lake Powell; Silver; Upper Santa Cruz; Upper Verde; Verde
Arkansas197319886Beaver Reservoir; Fourche La Fave; Illinois; Lower Little Arkansas; North Fork White; Upper Ouachita
California189120073Honcut Headwaters-Lower Feather; Middle Fork Feather; San Diego
Colorado1882201631Alamosa-Trinchera; Animas; Big Thompson; Blue; Cache La Poudre; Colorado Headwaters; Colorado Headwaters-Plateau; East-Taylor; Fountain; Horse; Huerfano; Lower Gunnison; Lower Yampa; McElmo; Middle South Platte-Cherry Creek; Middle South Platte-Sterling; Piedra; Rio Grande Headwaters; San Luis; South Fork Republican; South Platte; South Platte Headwaters; St. Vrain; Upper Arkansas; Upper Arkansas-John Martin Reservoir; Upper Dolores; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Gunnison; Upper San Juan; Upper White; Upper Yampa
Connecticut194019923Lower Connecticut; New England Region; Thames
Delaware188819812Brandywine-Christina; Upper Chesapeake
Georgia196919691Upper Oconee
Idaho1892201310Clearwater; Coeur d'Alene Lake; Lower Boise; Lower Clark Fork; Lower Kootenai; Pend Oreille; Pend Oreille Lake; Spokane; St. Joe; Upper Spokane
Illinois198619974Big Muddy; Embarras; Mackinaw; Salt
Kansas1962196710Crooked; Elk; Lower Big Blue; Neosho Headwaters; North Fork Ninnescah; Prairie Dog; South Fork Ninnescah; Upper Cimarron-Bluff; Upper Saline; Upper Smoky Hill
Kentucky1975198610Green; Kentucky; Kentucky Lake; Licking; Licking; Little Scioto-Tygarts; Lower Kentucky; Lower Levisa; Lower Tennessee; Pond
Maine181020096Lower Androscoggin; Lower Kennebec; Lower Penobscot; New England Region; Presumpscot; Upper Androscoggin
Maryland197619993Conococheague-Opequon; Upper Chesapeake; Youghiogheny
Massachusetts1991200514Blackstone; Cape Cod; Charles; Chicopee; Concord; Farmington; Housatonic; Hudson-Hoosic; Merrimack River; Middle Connecticut; Miller; Narragansett; New England Region; Quinebaug
Missouri196619974Lake of the Ozarks; Meramec; Sac; Upper Black
Montana1950201557Battle; Beaver; Beaver; Beaverhead; Big Dry; Big Muddy; Big Porcupine; Big Sandy; Bitterroot; Blackfoot; Boxelder; Bullwhacker-Dog; Charlie-Little Muddy; Fisher; Flathead Lake; Flatwillow; Fort Peck Reservoir; Frenchman; Judith; Lodge; Lower Bighorn; Lower Clark Fork; Lower Flathead; Lower Milk; Lower Musselshell; Lower Tongue; Lower Yellowstone; Lower Yellowstone-Sunday; Marias; Middle Clark Fork; Middle Kootenai; Middle Milk; Milk; Missouri-Poplar; Mizpah; O'Fallon; Pend Oreille; Peoples; Poplar; Porcupine; Prairie Elk-Wolf; Redwater; Rosebud; Sage; South Fork Flathead; Stillwater; Sun; Swan; Upper Little Missouri; Upper Milk; Upper Missouri; Upper Missouri-Dearborn; Upper Tongue; West Fork Poplar; Whitewater; Willow; Yaak
Nebraska195120005Frenchman; Lower South Platte; Red Willow; Upper Republican; West Fork Big Blue
Nevada197820178Granite Springs Valley; Lower Humboldt; Middle Carson; Pilot-Thousand Springs; Pine; South Fork Humboldt; Spring-Steptoe Valleys; Truckee
New Hampshire181020029Black-Ottauquechee; Contoocook; Middle Connecticut; New England; Pemigewasset; Upper Androscoggin; Upper Connecticut-Mascoma; Waits; West
New Jersey195219922Cohansey-Maurice; Mid-Atlantic Region
New Mexico1965201013Animas; Cimarron; Conchas; Elephant Butte Reservoir; Pecos Headwaters; Rio Grande-Albuquerque; Rio Grande-Santa Fe; Upper Beaver; Upper Canadian; Upper Pecos; Upper Rio Grande; Upper San Juan; Upper San Juan
New York198620014Chenango; Lower Hudson; Mohawk; Upper Susquehanna
North Carolina197619915Albemarle; Middle Roanoke; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; Upper Yadkin
North Dakota198120053Lake Sakakawea; Painted Woods-Square Butte; Upper Lake Oahe
Ohio198119863Lower Great Miami; Muskingum; Upper Scioto
Oklahoma197319763Lower Cimarron; Lower Neosho; Upper Cimarron
Oregon199419941Pacific Northwest Region
Pennsylvania198319863Bald Eagle; Lower Monongahela; Susquehanna
Rhode Island199219921New England Region
South Dakota1959200122Bad; Cedar; Crow; Fort Randall Reservoir; Grand; Little White; Lower Belle Fourche; Lower Lake Oahe; Lower Moreau; Lower White; Medicine; Medicine Knoll; Middle Cheyenne-Elk; Middle Cheyenne-Spring; North Fork Snake; Snake; South Fork Grand; Turtle; Upper Lake Oahe; Upper Moreau; Vermillion; West Missouri Coteau
Tennessee193919933Lower Clinch; South Fork Holston; Watts Bar Lake
Texas1967199210Amistad Reservoir; Austin-Travis Lakes; Buchanan-Lyndon B. Johnson Lakes; Lower Angelina; Lower Trinity-Tehuacana; Middle Brazos-Palo Pinto; Upper Neches; Upper Salt Fork Red; Upper West Fork Trinity; Yegua
Utah198220156Lower Green-Diamond; Lower Lake Powell; Middle Sevier; Upper Colorado-Kane Springs; Upper Lake Powell; Utah Lake
Vermont184720008Black-Ottauquechee; Hudson-Hoosic; Mettawee River; St. Francois River; Upper Connecticut; Upper Connecticut-Mascoma; West; White
Virginia1894199418Hampton Roads; James; Lower James; Lower Rappahannock; Lynnhaven-Poquoson; Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan; Pamunkey; Potomac; Rivanna; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; Shenandoah; South Fork Holston; Upper Clinch; Upper Dan; Upper James; Upper Roanoke; York
Washington197020177Banks Lake; Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake; Hangman; Kettle; Lake Washington; Lower Spokane; Pend Oreille
West Virginia1986199511Big Sandy; Cacapon-Town; Conococheague-Opequon; Little Kanawha; Little Muskingum-Middle Island; Lower Kanawha; Potomac; Upper Kanawha; Upper Monongahela; Upper Ohio-Wheeling; West Fork
Wisconsin198319832Ontonagon; Upper Wisconsin
Wyoming196619965Belle Fourche; Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff; North Platte; Upper Belle Fourche; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Table last updated 9/20/2018

† Populations may not be currently present.


Means of Introduction: This species has been intentionally stocked as a sport fish in most areas. In some cases, introductions were illegal, and these include such sites as Coeur d'Alene Lake, Idaho; Keyhole Reservoir, Wyoming; and Beaver Creek Reservoir, Bitterroot River, and Flathead River, Montana (McMahon and Bennett 1996), and lakes in Alaska (Bell, personal communication). McMahon and Bennett (1996) gave a table of western reservoirs with introduced populations and the method of introduction for each one. First stocked in Arizona in 1967 (Rinne 1995). In addition to being stocked as a sport fish, Pflieger (1997) stated that Esox lucius was stocked in Missouri reservoirs to introduce a large predator that could more effectively prey on the large populations of carp and gizzard shad present in such artificial environments.

Status: Established in many localities. Extirpated in California (Hubbs et al. 1979).

Impact of Introduction: The piscivorous Northern Pike has been shown to significantly reduce prey density and has the potential to cause large-scale changes in fish communities, even resulting in species elimination (He and Kitchell 1990). A study conducted in Wisconsin showed introduced pike mostly affected four minnow species; redbelly dace Phoxinus eos, finescale dace P. neogaeus, fathead minnow Pimephales promelas, and brassy minnow Hybognathus hankinsoni. Pike apparently had less effect on other species in the pond (He and Kitchell 1990). Impacts can be either direct, such as by predation, or indirect, such as by causing prey fish to alter their behavior (He and Kitchell 1990). In Montana, Northern Pike commonly deplete their prey and become stunted (McMahon and Bennett 1996). A study conducted by T. Jones (University of Montana) in 1990, found Northern Pike eliminated most other fishes except for the pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus, which was likely protected by its deep body shape and stiff spines, making it difficult prey (McMahon and Bennett 1996). Northern Pike may be responsible for declines of native westslope cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi and bull trout Salvelinus confluentus in the Stillwater lakes in Montana (McMahon and Bennett 1996). Northern Pike are reported to be "a problem" in the Yampa River in Colorado (Whitmore 1997). Illegally stocked lakes in Alaska are home to unique populations of threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. These populations have been isolated for 22,000 years and have evolved a number of striking phenotypic traits. The presence of nonindigenous pike in these same lakes threatens the stickleback's very existence (Bell, personal communication). Trapping in lakes where pike had not been stocked yielded sticklebacks and native salmonids. Trapping in adjacent lakes where pike had been stocked yielded nothing but pike (Bell, personal communication).  In Maine, the pike's presence in Pushaw Lake is suspected of destroying one of the state's premier landlocked salmon populations (Boucher 2003). The Pushaw Lake population may gain access to the Piscataquis River. Since the Northern Pike preys upon the Atlantic salmon, the populations of this and other native species may be threatened. The presence of Northern Pike, along with other introduced piscivores, reduced the richness of native minnow communities in Adirondack lakes (Findlay et al. 2000).

When Northern Pike are stocked in lakes containing native muskellunge E. masquinongy, the two species may hybridize. Although the male tiger muskellunge are sterile, females are often fertile and are capable of backcrossing (Becker 1983). Northern Pike are replacing native muskellunge in many Wisconsin lakes (Becker 1983). It is also believed that because Northern Pike generally spawn a month earlier than muskellunge, the older pike may prey on younger muskellunge (Gilbert, personal communication). This species has been documented to naturally hybridize with E. niger (Herke et al. 1990).

Remarks: Tyus et al. (1982) gave a distribution map of this species in the upper Colorado basin.

References: (click for full references)

Associated Press. 2003. State biologist on the hunt for non-native Kenai pike. Anchorage Daily News. October 24, 2003.

Bailey, R. M. and M. O. Allum. 1962. Fishes of South Dakota. Miscellaneous Publications of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 119:1-131.

Baxter, G. T., and J. R. Simon. 1970. Wyoming fishes. Wyoming Game and Fish Department Bulletin 4, Cheyenne, WY. 168 pp.

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Madison Press Madison, WI. http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/EcoNatRes.FishesWI.

Boucher, D. 2003. Illegal fish stockings threaten Maine lakes and rivers. Available online at URL http://www.state.me.us

Brown, C. J. D. 1971. Fishes of Montana. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

Buchanan, T. M. 1973. Key to the fishes of Arkansas. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Little Rock, AR. 68 pp., 198 maps.

Burr, B.M., and L.M. Page. 1986. Zoogeography of the fishes of the lower Ohio-upper Mississippi basin. Pages 287-324 in Hocutt, C.H., and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons. New York, NY.

Burr, B. M., and M. L. Warren, Jr. 1986. A distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission Scientific and Technical Series 4. 398 pp.

Clay, W. M. 1975. The fishes of Kentucky. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Frankfort, KY. 416 pp.

Cooper, E. L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA.

Cordone, A.J. - Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, CA. Response to NBS-G non-indigenous questionaire. 1992.

Cross, F. B. 1967. Handbook of Fishes of Kansas. State Biological Survey and University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, Miscellaneous Publication 45, Topeka, KS.

Dahlberg, M. D., and D. C. Scott. 1971a. The freshwater fishes of Georgia. Bulletin of the Georgia Academy of Science 29:1-64.

Deacon, J. E., and J. E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103-118.

Denoncourt, R. F., T. B. Robbins, and R. Hesser. 1975a. Recent introductions and reintroductions to the Pennsylvania fish fauna of the Susquehanna River drainage above Conowingo Dam. Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 49:57-58.

Eddy, S., and J. C. Underhill. 1974. Northern fishes, with special reference to the Upper Mississippi Valley, 3rd edition. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN.

Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Everhart, W. H., and W. R. Seaman. 1971. Fishes of Colorado. Colorado Game, Fish and Parks Division, Denver, CO. 75 pp.

Findlay, C.S., D.G. Bert, and L. Zheng. 2000. Effect of introduced piscivores on native minnow communities in Adirondack lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 57:570-580. http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/pdf/10.1139/f99-276

Foust, T. 2001. Fewer bass a concern at Parker Canyon Lake. Arizona Daily Star, Tucson.

Fowler, H. W. 1952. A list of the fishes of New Jersey, with off-shore species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia CIV:89-151.

Harlan, J. R., E. B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew. 1987. Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, IA. 323 pp.

Hartel, K. E. 1992. Non-native fishes known from Massachusetts freshwaters. Occasional Reports of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Fish Department, Cambridge, MA. 2. September. pp. 1-9.

He, X., and J. F. Kitchell. 1990. Direct and indirect effects of predation on a fish community: a whole lake experiment. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 119:825-835.

Hendricks, M. L., J. R. Stauffer, Jr., C. H. Hocutt, and C. R. Gilbert. 1979. A preliminary checklist of the fishes of the Youghiogheny River. Chicago Academy of Sciences, Natural History Miscellanea 203:1-15.

Holton, G. D. 1990. A field guide to Montana fishes. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena, MT. 104 pp.

Holton, G. D. and H. E. Johnson. 1996. A field guide to Montana fishes, second edition. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Helena, MT. 104pp.

Howells, R. G. 1992a. Annotated list of introduced non-native fishes, mollusks, crustaceans and aquatic plants in Texas waters. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Management Data Series 78, Austin, TX. 19 pp.

Hubbs, C. L., W. I. Follett, and L. J. Dempster. 1979. List of the fishes of California. California Academy Science Occasional Papers 133. 51 pp.

Hubert, W. 1994. Exotic fish. Pages 158-174 in T. L. Parrish, and S. H. Anderson, editors. Exotic species manual. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Laramie, WY.

Insider Viewpoint. 2001. Fishing Records – Nevada. Insider Viewpoint Magazine. 3 pp.

Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Jones, R.A. - Fisheries Bureau, Departments of Environmental Protection, Hartford, CT. Response to NBS-G nonindigenous questionaire. 1992.

Jones, D. J. 1963. A history of Nebraska's fisheries resources. Dingell-Hohnson Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Project F-4-R Publication. Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission..

Kelly, J. M. 2001. Bait-bucket biology. Post Standard, Syracuse, NY. June 28, 2001.

Kircheis, F. W. 1994. Update on freshwater fish species reproducing in Maine. Maine Naturalist 2(1):25-28.

Kuhne, E. R. 1939. A guide to the fishes of Tennessee and the mid-South. Tennessee Department of Conservation, Nashville, TN. 124 pp.

Lampman, B. H. 1946. The coming of the pond fishes. Binfords and Mort, Portland, OR.

Lapin, W.J. - Dept. of Envir. Manag., Div. of Fish and Wildl., West Kingson, RI. Response to NBS-G nonindigenous questionaire. 1992.

Li, H. - Professor, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

Linder, A. D. 1963. Idaho's alien fishes. Tebiwa 6(2):12-15.

Luebke, R. W. 1978. Evaluation of a multi-predator introduction. Federal Aid Project F-31-R-4.

Madison, D. 2003. Outlaw Introductions. Montana Outdoors. July/August 2003. p 26-35.

Mallard, B. 2003. Invasive species: Life after Sebago. Kennebec Journal. August 27, 2003.

McMahon, T. E., and D. H. Bennett. 1996. Walleye and northern pike: boost or bane to northwest fisheries? Fisheries 21(8):6-13.

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Miller, R. J., and H. W. Robison. 1973. The fishes of Oklahoma. Oklahoma State University Press, Stillwater, OK.

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Pflieger, W. L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, MO. 343 pp.

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Polson, J. 1964. New reservoirs ? new fish species. Kansas Fish and Game 21(3):3-6.

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Simpson, J., and R. Wallace. 1978. Fishes of Idaho. University of Idaho Press, Moscow, ID.

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Southwick, R. - District Fisheries Supervisor, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Richmond, VA. Response to NBS-G non-indigenous questionaire. 1992.

Starnes, W.C., J. Odenkirk, and M.J. Ashton. 2011. Update and analysis of fish occurrences in the lower Potomac River drainage in the vicinity of Plummers Island, Maryland—Contribution XXXI to the natural history of Plummers Island, Maryland. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 124(4):280-309.

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Todd, B. 1962. Explosive new fish in Kansas. Kansas Fish and Game 20(1):3-5.

Trautman, M. B. 1981. The fishes of Ohio. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH.

Underhill, J. C. 1959. Fishes of the Vermillion River, South Dakota. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 38:96-102.

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FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 7/22/2015

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=676, Revision Date: 7/22/2015, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 9/24/2018

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.

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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. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [9/24/2018].

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