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fish Pike

Identify It >   Freshwater Wildlife Section >   Pike >

Scientific name:  Esox lucius

Size:  Can grow to 1.3m long and weigh up to 23kgs, although there are 'stories' of larger specimens being caught

Distribution:  Found in most parts of the U.K. except northern Scotland, parts of Cornwall and west Wales

Months seen:  All year round

Life Span:  Approximately 7 to 15 years

Habitat:  Lakes, rivers and canals especially slow moving water with plenty of vegetation

Food:  When young it eats insects and small fish (including other Pike), but as it grows it will take large fish, small water birds and mammals

Special features:  The Pike has a grey-green or brown coloured back.  In most fish the dorsal fin is near the centre of the back, but on the pike it is closer to the tail.  The sides are pale green with yellow spots and dashes.  The undersides are grey-white.  The top of the pikes head is concave (a bit like the bill of a duck), and the jaws feature large backward pointing teeth.

The Pike are known for their greedy feeding habits, and it's not unusual to find a dead Pike which has choked while trying to swallow a Pike of a similar size.  This unfortunate activity has been noted in the poem called "Pike" by Ted Hughes.

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