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Zach Dunham

What Species Of Fish Is This?

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My friend caught this fish at Lake Wallenpaupack, PA yesterday. I think it looks most like a northern pike but the spots look kind of weird for a northern and I've never heard of anyone catching northern pike in this lake. Anyone able to tell from the picture if it is a northern pike and just weird looking? Or is it something else?

post-32763-0-51456100-1307963698_thumb.j

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Looks like a chain pickerel.

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Looks like a chain pickerel.

I thought that at first when it was being reeled in but it has weird spots instead of the usual chain markings. Is that normal? I've never seen one that looked quite like that.

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Compare your photo to this one. I caught this in Florida and chain pickerel are the only members of the pike family down there...

14in_chain_pickerel_TsalaApopkaFL.jpg

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It looks more like a pike than a pickerel to me but I haven't seen one in years.

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It looks more like a pike than a pickerel to me but I haven't seen one in years.

I've been doing some web reading and I think you're right. One of the characteristics listed for a chain pickerel is a dark bar below the eye - visible in my photo, but not in the OPs photo.

I should probably change my guess to a small northern as well!

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That is a Northern Pike, Esox lucius. Awesome gamefish. Be careful handling larger fish, though. ;)

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I've never seen or heard of northern pike in Lake Wallenpaupack before. How invasive are pike, if this is a recent thing?

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How invasive? Wallenpaupack is well within it's natural range.

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How invasive? Wallenpaupack is well within it's natural range.

By invasive I mean, how dangerous are they to the bass population if they weren't in the lake until recently?

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They aren't harmful at all, the two co exist in thousands of lakes.

BTW, several websites list northern pike (along with chain pickerel and musky) as a common game fish in that lake.

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They aren't harmful at all, the two co exist in thousands of lakes.

BTW, several websites list northern pike (along with chain pickerel and musky) as a common game fish in that lake.

I just saw that too. I find it weird that the PA fish and game website does not list it as a game fish in that lake though. Thanks for all the info!

I guess they just aren't overly common in that lake. In one lake in New Jersey I would catch as many pike as pickeral. That is the first time I've ever seen one in several years of spending many hours on Lake Wallepaupack.

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check and see how many pores are underneath its jaw i dont know if pickeral have the same amount of pores as northerns but northers and muskies have different numbers. i think a northern has for pores and a muskie has 5...

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check and see how many pores are underneath its jaw i dont know if pickeral have the same amount of pores as northerns but northers and muskies have different numbers. i think a northern has for pores and a muskie has 5...

The tear drop under the eye is more tell tale than pores. The OP is a pike.

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I just saw that too. I find it weird that the PA fish and game website does not list it as a game fish in that lake though. Thanks for all the info!

Myself and some of my fellow pier rats don't understand who decides what is a game fish and why.

We catch species that are not considered gamefish, yet they are wary and difficult to catch, fight as hard or harder as any gamefish, and in some cases much better eating. I think the parameters of what a game fish is need to be reevaluated.

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Myself and some of my fellow pier rats don't understand who decides what is a game fish and why.

In some states, that classification has big time impact on commercial fishing.

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check and see how many pores are underneath its jaw i dont know if pickeral have the same amount of pores as northerns but northers and muskies have different numbers. i think a northern has for pores and a muskie has 5...

haha good info but pretty sure its a little late for that!

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