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Pickerels

About Pickerels

The Pickerels are small fish and their are several different species. The Chain Pickerel, the Red Fin Pickerel, and the Grass Pickerel are all small American members of the pike family and they are all alike in the shape of their bodies and structures. They have strong jaws that are lined with strong, sharp teeth.

They will eat anything that happens to come their way. Because they are small, they take much of their food from the lake or the river bottom. The Pickerel will eat caddis larvae, snails, as well as small fish. The largest of the Pickerel will eat frogs, newts and small rodents. The smallest, which is the Grass Pickerel, will only eat insects because that is all that it can handle.

The smaller Pickerels only live in water where there are no larger Pickerels because they will be eaten.

Pickerels breed in the early spring. The eggs are laid in the shallows on weeds that grow in the rivers. Once the fries hatch, they feed on zooplankton before moving on to larger food items. This fish is hard to spot in the water, and often hides in the thick weeds.

The Chain Pickerel is olive-gray and blotched with yellow-green. The Red Fin Pickerel is marked by vertical lines and light orange red fins.