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Fishes of North Dakota

Pike Family

Pike Family

There are two members of the pike family in North Dakota, the northern pike and the muskellunge. Both have long bodies and long snouts with large teeth. The dorsal fin is located far back on the body.

Northern Pike

Pike are marked with horizotal body spots and never have more than five pores on each side of the lower jaw. Pike have scales covering their entire cheek. the northern pike was named our State Fish by the 1969 Legislative Assmebly. Other names are northern, pike, jack, snake, pickerel, and hammerhandle.
JPG -- Picture of a Northern Pike.

JPG -- Picture of a Muskellunge.


Muskellunge have vertical dark bars on their sides and from 6 to 8 pores on each side of the lower jaw. They have scales only on the upper half of the cheek. The tiger musky is a hybrid cross between a muskellunge female and a northern pike male.

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