Common name: Redfin Pickerel
Synonyms and Other Names: grass pickerel
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994). Two recognized subspecies in this genus; E. a. americanus, the Redfin Pickerel, and E. a. vermiculatus, the grass pickerel. Crossman (1978) described and mapped the range of each.
Size: 38 cm.
Native Range: Atlantic Slope from the St. Lawrence River drainage, Quebec, to Lake Okeechobee, Florida; Gulf drainages east to the Brazos River, Texas; Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins north to Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan, and southern Ontario (range for the species). Redfin Pickerel E. a. americanus occur on the Atlantic Slope to southern Georgia and intergrade with grass pickerel E. a. vermiculatus in the Gulf Slope drainages west to the Pascagoula River. Grass pickerel occupy the rest of the range (Page and Burr 1991). Crossman (1978) gave a distribution map of the subspecies and intergrades.
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
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 are found here.
Table last updated 9/23/2021
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: This species was stocked intentionally and possibly accidentally; it was stocked illegally in Oregon. Probably introduced into Washington as misidentified northern pike E. lucius (Chapman 1942); it is also possible that grass pickerel were introduced into Idaho along with northern pike, and that the former species later reached Washington by "some devious means" (Wydoski and Whitney 1979).
Status: Extirpated in California; established in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Washington; established in the Youghiogheny drainage in Maryland (D. Neely); unknown in Oregon and Wisconsin.
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)
Crossman, E. J. 1978. Taxonomy and distribution of North American esocids. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 11:13-26.
Ellis, M. M. 1974. Fishes of Colorado. University of Colorado Studies, Boulder, CO 11(1):1-136.
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.
Lampman, B. H. 1946. The coming of the pond fishes. Binfords and Mort, Portland, OR.
Li, H. - Professor, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.
Neely, D. - University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.
Smith, H. M. 1896. A review of the history and results of the attempts to acclimatize fish and other water animals in the Pacific states. Pages 379-472 in Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission, Vol. XV, for 1895.
Wydoski, R. S., and R. R. Whitney. 1979. Inland fishes of Washington. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.
Revision Date: 12/15/1999
Peer Review Date: 12/15/1999
Fuller, P., 2021, Esox americanus Gmelin, 1789: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=1421, Revision Date: 12/15/1999, Peer Review Date: 12/15/1999, Access Date: 9/23/2021
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.