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NFC: Blue Pike INfo

Blue Pike

Distribution: In Ohio the blue pike was found in the greatest numbers in
eastern two thirds of Lake Erie.  It is now believed to be extinct.

Identification: Long, slender body, bluish gray on the back graduating
bluish silver on the sides and whitish on the belly.  No Brassy
on the body.  Except for the size of the eye and the color of the body,
blue pike has the same features as the WALLEYE.  The blue pike has a much
eye than the walleye.  As is true of the walleye, it has a dark blotch on
webbing between the three last dorsal spines, white-tipped tail and anal
fins, canine teeth, and a cloudy eye.

Adult Size: Uncertain.  Fish from 9 to 16 inches may weigh from 8 to 24
Some larger specimens, up to seven pounds are questionable as they may be
result of crossing, hybridization, or intergradation.

Habitat: The clearer portion of Lake Erie, principally the eastern two
of the lake, was preferred habitat for this subspecies.  This fish
was intolerant of the tributary streams, but during the fall and winter
"blues" did move into the Bass Islands area in the western portion of the

Spawning:  Very little is known about the spawning activity.  But since
fish is a subspecies of the walleye, certain factors seem evident.  The
pike was a free spawner, scattering eggs over sand and gravel but
in deeper and colder water than the walleye.  The blue pike was obviously
a prolific spawner, as evidenced by the millions of pounds that were
from Lake Erie for many years.

Remarks: Although the blue pike is officially considered an endangered
in Ohio, it apparently has been extirpated from Lake Erie.  It seems
improbable that this fine food fish will ever again make up an important
part of the commercial harvest from the lake.  Since comparatively few
pike were ever caught by sport fishermen, they were never considered
to the hook and line catch.

Robert Rice
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