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Northern Pike

Common name: Northern pike Scientific name: Esox lucius (Esox comes from the old name for pike in Europe and lucius comes from the supposed Latin name for the species). Appearance: Though it’s possible to confuse northern pike with its esox cousin, the muskellunge, pike are distinguished by rows of light spots on their darker, green… Continue Reading

Muskellunge (Musky or Muskie)

Common name: Muskellunge (Musky) Scientific name: There are three main subspecies of musky: the Great Lakes musky (Esox m. masquinongy); the Chautauqua musky (Esox m. ohioensis); and the Tiger musky (Esox m. immaculatus), which is actually a hybrid of pike and musky. The word Esox comes from the old name for pike in Europe. Masquinongy,… Continue Reading

Lake Trout

Common Name: Lake Trout, a.k.a. Tongue, Mackinaw, Gray Trout Scientific Name: Salveinus Namaycush Appearance: The otherwise dark-green or -gray body of a lake trout is covered densely with light spots, and marked by wavy lines that run along the dorsal side towards its deeply forked tail. Distribution:Thriving only in cold (42ºF to 55ºF), well-oxygenated water,… Continue Reading

Lake Sturgeon

Common Name: Lake Sturgeon Scientific Name: Acipenser fulvescens Appearance: Brownish-gray on its sides, with four beard-like barbels hanging from its mouth, sturgeon have a fairly unmistakable appearance. Distribution: Found only in larger lakes and rivers with sand, gravel, or rock bottoms, Lake Sturgeon are fairly abundant in the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, and St. Lawrence,… Continue Reading

Largemouth Bass

Common name: Largemouth bass, a.k.a. black bass, bigmouth, green bass, green trout, Florida bass, Oswego bass, southern largemouth, bucketmouth Scientific name: Micropterus salmoides (Micropterus means “small fin”; salmoides means “trout-like” in gameness and food). Appearance: Not a true bass, but rather the largest member of the sunfish family, Largemouth Bass are green to olive in… Continue Reading

Crappie (White & Black)

Common name: Black crappie, White Crappie a.k.a. speckled perch, calico bass, grass bass, speckled bass, speckled perch, strawberry bass, oswego bass, sacalait, sacalaitt, barfish, crawpie, bachelor perch, papermouth, shiner, moonfish. Scientific name: Black Crappie = Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Pomoxis means “sharp opercle (cheek)”; nigromaculatus means “black spotted”), White Crappie = (Pomoxis annularis) Appearance: The body of… Continue Reading

Coho (Silver) Salmon

Common Name: Coho Salmon, a.k.a. Silver Salmon Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus kisutch Appearance: Readily distinguishable from a chinook salmon by its shortened lower jaw with lighter gums, Coho also have a distinctively blue/green-colored back, and black spots that cover the entire upper portion of their body, not just the tail. Distribution: Native to the entire northern-hemisphere… Continue Reading

Chinook (King) Salmon

Common Name: Chinook Salmon, a.k.a. King Salmon Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Appearance: Silvery white with a black-spotted tail, Chinook have a distinctively pointed jaw, with their teeth set in a pair of black gums. Distribution: The largest Pacific salmon species, the mighty Chinookare geatly sought-after by both sport- and commercial fishermen, to the point where… Continue Reading

Channel Catfish

Common Name: Channel Catfish a.k.a. Fiddlers Scientific Name: Ictalurus punctatus Appearance: With their deeply forked tail fins, elongated jaws, and prominent barbels (“whiskers”), channel catfish are fairly unmistakable in appearance. They tend to be brown to black on top, fading to yellowish or greenish near the belly, with dark spots over the entirety of their… Continue Reading

Chain Pickerel

Common Name: Chain Pickerel, a.k.a. Chained Lightning Scientific Name: Esox niger Appearance: Fading from dark olive at the top to pasty yellow on the bottom, with green blotches and black, serpentine markings on their sides, Pickerel are further distinguished by their scaly gill covers and a dark, vertical line beneath their eye. Distribution: Especially popular… Continue Reading