Fish Identification

Chain pickerel

A close relative of the muskellunge and other members of the pike family, the chain pickerel is named for the chain-like pattern on its sides. It is sometimes mistaken for a small muskellunge, but the muskellunge does not have the black bar beneath its eye that is present in the chain pickerel. The redfin pickerel is also similar in appearance, but the pattern on its sides resembles dark vertical bars rather than a chain-like pattern, and the redfin pickerel rarely exceeds 10 inches.

Scientific Name:  Esox niger

State Record: 9 lbs. 6 oz.

Image D.Raver (USFWS)






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