Chain Pickerel

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FISH PROFILE

COMMON NAME

Chain Pickerel

Scientific name

Esox niger

FAMILY

Esocidae (pike and muskie) family

LENGTH

2-3 feet

DIET

Fish, crayfish, frogs, mice, and salamanders.

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FISH PROFILE

COMMON NAME

Chain Pickeral

Scientific name

Esox niger

FAMILY

Esocidae (pike and muskie) family

LENGTH

2-3 feet

DIET

Fish, crayfish, frogs, mice, and salamanders.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

Chain pickerel are long slender fish with elongated spots that form a chain-like pattern along their side. They will also have a dark stripe downward through the eye. Juveniles will have a stripe along the body instead of the adult patterning. At first glance the elongated body might resemble a gar or needlefish, but the beautiful pattern and duck-billed face are unique.

RANGE, HABITAT, AND BEHAVIOR

Found all across the Gulf and East coasts of North America and throughout Florida. Ambush hunters, pickerel will likely be found alone rather than in groups, hiding motionless in vegetation.

FUN FACTS

Chain pickerel are also known as “jack” or “jackfish” and are ambush feeders. They will wait motionless, hiding in vegetation, until it’s time to strike!

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