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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Northern Pike

The Northern Pike (Esox lucius) is a carnivorous fish found in brackish and freshwaters throughout the northern hemisphere. It eats mainly fish, but water voles and ducklings are also known to fall prey to pikes. Moreover, it is a cannibal. This trait serves in maintaining a stability in the pike population. Young pike have been photographed eating pike of a similar size. Pike grow to a relatively large size: lengths of 150 cm and weight of 25 kg are not unheard of.

The pike generally hides in wait for prey, under weeds perhaps, and is then capable of remarkable acceleration, capable of propelling it a meter into the air (though it rarely leaves the surface). It catches its prey sideways with its sharp teeth before turning it to swallow.

Whilst a worthy adversary for any rod and line fisherman, pike are usually returned alive by fishermen, since its flesh is bone filled and is not usually considered for eating. However, it has had a long and distinguished history in cuisine and is popular in Germany, with historical references to its cooking going back as far as the Romans.

Northern Pike