Northern Pike (Esox lucius)

northern_pikeThe Northern pike can usually be found near shore in clear, shallow waters, and under the cover of vegetation.  Ninety percent of the Northern Pikes diet is smaller fish, but this pike will eat any living creature that their jaws can surround including rodents, frogs, waterfowl, crayfish, and other small mammals.  These pike prefer their prey to be one third to one half the size of the pike itself.  But the pike has predators too.  Man and Lamprey are two of the primary predators, however, a reckless pike showing himself in the shallows during the spawning season is also vulnerable to dogs, bears, and other large carnivores.   In addition, new hatchlings and pike eggs are liable to be eaten by waterfowl, water mammals, larger pike, minnows, perch, and even some types of insects.

The Northern Pike spawns in the shallows between the months of April and May, right after he ice melts.  Due to how many choices the pike has for a meal, young pike grow very quickly in both weight and length up until their sexually mature.  Males start to become sexually mature at two to three years, females at three to four.  After this point, pike still grow, though a lot more slowly.  On average, the Northern Pike will live for 10 to 12 years.

Further Reading

Click Here for information from the Michigan DNR