Esox lucius 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Esociformes Esocidae

Scientific Name: Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Northern Pike

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-12-01
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Contributor(s): Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations, large population size, apparently stable trend, and lack of major threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Range is Holarctic and includes the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins from Alaska to Labrador, south to Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Nebraska (Page and Burr 2011). This species has been introduced in many areas southward of the native range.
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Monaco; Mongolia; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States; Uzbekistan
Algeria; Ethiopia; Ireland; Morocco; Portugal; Spain; Tunisia; Uganda
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Total adult population size is unknown but very large.

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Custom (N)

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This fish usually occurs in clear small lakes, shallow vegetated areas of larger lakes, marshes, creeks, and small to large rivers. It moves to deeper cooler water in summer. Spawning occurs in shallow flooded marshes associated with lakes, inlet streams to those lakes (or flooded terrestrial vegetation at reservoir edge), or rivers; spawning habitat is basically a flooded area with emergent vegetation (optimally over short grasses or sedges). Young remain in spawning habitat for several weeks after hatching.
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is of importance in commercial fisheries, aquaculture, public aquaria, and as a gamefish.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.6. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.1. Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin.

Buss, K. 1961. A literature survey of the life history and culture of the northern pike. Benner Spring Fisheries Research Station Special Purpose Report. Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

Carbine, W.F. 1942. Observations on the life history of the northern pike, Esox lucius L., in Houghton Lake, Michigan. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 71(1941): 149-164.

Cooper, E.L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Pennsylvania.

Crossman, E.J. and Casselman, J.M. 1987. An annotated bibliography of the pike, Esox lucius (Osteichthyes: Salmoniformes). Royal Ontario Museum.

Harlan, J.R., Speaker, E.B. and Mayhew, J. 1987. Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

Holton, G.D. and Johnson, H.E. 2003. A field guide to Montana fishes. Montana Fish and Wildlife, and Parks, Helena, MT.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Lee, D.S., Gilbert, C.R., Hocutt, C.H., Jenkins, R.E., McAllister, D.E. and Stauffer, J.R. Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Nelson, J.S., Crossman, E.J., Espinosa-Perez, H., Findley, L.T., Gilbert, C.R., Lea, R.N. and Williams, J.D. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

Owen, J.B., Elsen, D.S. and Russell, G.W. 1981. Distribution of fishes in North and South Dakota basins affected by the Garrison Diversion Unit. University of North Dakota Press, Grand Forks, ND.

Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts.

Pflieger, W.L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Columbia, Missouri.

Raat, A.J.P. 1988. Synopsis of biological data on the northern pike Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.

Robins, C.R., Bailey, R.M., Bond, C.E., Brooker, J.R., Lachner, E.A., Lea, R.N. and Scott, W.B. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society.

Scott, W.B. and Crossman, E.J. 1973. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada Bulletin 184, Ottawa, Canada.

Smith, C.L. 1983. Fishes of New York (maps and printout of a draft section on scarce fishes of New York).

Smith, P.W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois.

Sublette, J.E., Hatch, M.D and Sublette, M. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Threinen, C.W., Wistrom, C., Apelgren, B. and Snow, H. 1966. The northern pike, life history, ecology, and management. Wis. Conserv. Dep. Publ. No 235: 235.

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

Citation: NatureServe. 2013. Esox lucius. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T135631A15363638. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
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