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.

Sander lucioperca
Sander lucioperca

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Sander lucioperca (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common name: Zander

Synonyms and Other Names: Stizostedion lucioperca (Linnaeus, 1758); pikeperch, European pikeperch

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Injurious: This species is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as injurious wildlife.

Identification: Berg (1949), Wheeler (1969, 1978), Maitland (1977), Howells (1992). Formerly known as Lucioperca lucioperca (e.g., Berg 1949).

Size: 1 m (Robins et al. 1991).

Native Range: Continental Europe to western Siberia (Berg 1949; Robins et al. 1991).

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 Sander lucioperca are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
ND198920191Upper James

Table last updated 6/20/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Stocked for sport fishing.

Status: Although it was thought that zander stocked into a North Dakota lake did not survive (e.g., Anderson 1992), the capture of a fish in August 1999, and another 2+ year old fish in 2000 shows that at least some survived and reproduced. Five young-of-the-year fish were collected in 2005. As of 2009, the state reports that they are established in Spiritwood Lake. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGFD) reports capture of yearlings and 2-year olds, although they same the population is very small.  Genetic sampling of fish has found that all are pure zander, there has been no hybridization. Spiritwood Lake is normally a closed basin, however it was connected to the James River due to flooding in 1998–2001. Sampling by NDGFD did not find any evidence that zander escaped the lake during the flood (L. Schlueter, personal communication).

Reported from New York (Courtenay et al. 1986).

Impact of Introduction: Unknown. Concern exists that zander and walleye could hybridize. So far there has been no evidence of that happening (L. Schlueter, personal communication). There has been no discernible impact on native walleye or perch populations (L. Schlueter, personal communication).

Remarks: Courtenay et al. (1986) listed this species from New York, but the record was based on an unconfirmed report. The history of its introduction into North Dakota is not well documented in the scientific literature. Apparently the North Dakota Game and Fish Department had been interested in zander as a sport fish for many years and that agency chose Spiritwood Lake as the site of an experimental release because the water body was completely enclosed (Anderson 1992). In 1987, prior to the lake introduction, the state had hatched eggs imported from Holland, but the resulting fry were destroyed for fear that they carried pike fry rhobdo virus (Anonymous 1987a; Lohman 1989). Those wanting to introduce zander thought that it would be a boon to the fisheries of North America (e.g., Anderson 1992), whereas others expressed strong reservations (e.g., Wright 1992). Some fisheries personnel in states surrounding North Dakota and nearby Canadian provinces expressed doubts concerning the species' introduction, particularly because its effect on native species was unknown and because of its potential to spread (e.g., Wingate 1992). The zander has been widely introduced into western Europe and the species was illegally introduced into portions of England. According to Hickley (1986), the success of introduced populations seemed to be limited by the availability of the species' preferred habitat, characterized as "eutrophic, turbid, well oxygenated and of low mean depth, and, if a river, slow-flowing rather than turbulent." Zander feed heavily on prey of small size. Because of this, there is concern among European fish resource managers that introduced zander may cause a collapse in resident prey fish stocks (Hickley 1986 and references therein). 

Spiritwood Lake was been connected to the James River for three years (1998-2001) because of high water conditions. There is concern that zander may have escaped into the James River, althouth sampling efforts have found no evidence (L. Schlueter, personal communication).

Zander was added to the Injurious Wildlife List by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 (50 CFR § 16.13; Dokken 2016).

References: (click for full references)

Anderson, R.O. 1992. A case for zander: Fish for the future? Pages 22-32 in In-Fisherman Wallye Guide for 1992. In-Fisherman Magazine, Brainerd, MN

Berg, L.S. 1948-1949. Freshwater fishes of the U.S.S.R. and adjacent countries, 4th edition. Three volumes. Translated from Russian, 1962-1965, for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, by Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, Israel.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr., D.A. Hensley, J.N. Taylor, and J.A. McCann. 1986. Distribution of exotic fishes in North America. Pages 675-698 in Hocutt, C.H., and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons. New York, NY.

Dokken, B. 2004. Angler's catch likely a rare zander. Grand Forks Herald. Grand Forks, ND. http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/9140277.htm. Created on 07/13/2004. Accessed on 07/13/2004.

Dokken, B. 2016. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service list zander as injurious species. Grand Forks Herald. Grand Forks, ND. http://www.grandforksherald.com/outdoors/4127188-us-fish-and-wildlife-service-list-zander-injurious-species. Created on 10/02/2016. Accessed on 10/11/2017.

Hickley, P. 1986. Invasion by zander and the management of fish stocks. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences 314:571-582. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2396405.

Howells, R. 1992. Guide to identification of harmful and potentially harmful fishes, shellfishes, and aquatic plants prohibited in Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, TX.

Lohman, J. 1989. Biologists introduce zander into North America. The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Fargo, ND. July 22:A1, 4.

Maitland, P.S. 1977. The Hamlyn guide to freshwater fishes of Britain and Europe. Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, New York, NY.

Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. World fishes important to North Americans exclusive of species from continental waters of the Unites States. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 21. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Wheeler, A. 1969. The Fishes of the British Isles and Northwest Europe. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, MI.

Wheeler, A. 1978. Key to the fishes of northern Europe. Frederick Warne Ltd, London, England.

Wingate, P.J. 1992. Zander–evaluate carefully before introducing. Page 32 in In-Fisherman Wallye Guide for 1992. In-Fisherman Magazine, Brainerd, MN

FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P., and Neilson, M.E.

Revision Date: 8/30/2023

Peer Review Date: 3/17/2009

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., and Neilson, M.E., 2024, Sander lucioperca (Linnaeus, 1758): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=830, Revision Date: 8/30/2023, Peer Review Date: 3/17/2009, Access Date: 6/20/2024

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 [6/20/2024].

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