10 20 40 60 cm

mittakaava > 60 cm

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Gösta Sundman: Suomen Kalat (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Jouko Lehmuskallio, Petri Savola (Uudenmaan ympäristökeskus), Lauri Urho

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Esox lucius

  • Family: Pikes – Esocidae
  • Similar species: none
  • Size: 40-120 cm, 0.5-15 kg. Seldom 20 kg or over.
  • Appearance: The pike has all the appearance of a real predator: long, crocodile-like jaws, sharp teeth and a huge mouth. Long, powerful body built for speed, with single dorsal fin set well back and above anal fin. Back rather broad.
  • Colouring: Sides green, belly pale and back almost black. Sides show pale yellow mottling, sometimes forming stripes. Pike living in dark, peaty waters may exhibit darker colouring.
  • Reproduction: Spawning takes place early, in spring. As soon as the ice has gone pike seek out shallow reedy bays and even flooded fields, where the roe is deposited. In the sea, spawning occurs later. Pike may sometimes leave the sea to spawn in freshwater.
  • Food: Pike are predatory from the fry stage onwards. They may attempt to engulf fish of almost their own size, including other pike. Big pike are capable of swallowing large prey, and their stomachs have been found to contain frogs, water voles and even young waterfowl, as well as fish.
  • Distribution and habitat: Finland’s most common fish after the perch. It is found in 80% of the country’s lakes and also in the sea. Outside the spawning season pike tend to be very territorial, ambushing their prey without moving any great distance. They favour shallow reedy shorelines, while in the sea the preference is for rocky shores or patches of bladderwrack. In swampy forest pools pike may even attack their prey from beneath a covering of sphagnum moss.

The pike is one of the fastest growing fish to inhabit Finnish waters. Long-lived, it can attain a considerable size. Females grow much bigger than males. Many anglers who enjoy spinning will have caught a pike at some time or other.

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