Esox lucius


Otolith description
The general shape of the otoliths is oval and pointed. The straight sulcus is open and runs along the length of the otolith. The ostium is shorter but wider than the cauda. The surface of the inside, sulcus and outside is highly irregular. The margins are irregular and anterior and posterior margin are indented at the ostium and cauda respectively. The rostrum of the otolith is well developed, long and pointed. The antirostrum is smaller but also pointed. Pike otoliths are thin and convex on the inside, while concave on the outside.
Otoliths of pike resemble otoliths of perch Perca fluviatilis and zander Stizostedion lucioperca. Pike otoliths are strongly concave at the outside, more so than perch or zander. The sulcus of pike is wider and the rostrum is larger and more pointed than on either perch or zander otoliths.
On eroded otoliths the sulcus, surface, margins and rostrum will be smoothed. The rostrum will often be missing, leaving an almost square remnant with a clear, central sulcus.

Fish length and distribution
Pike can grow up to 150 cm. Pike is a common freshwater fish, found in all water types. It prefers clear, rather still and densely vegetated waters and spawns in spring in shallow water (Wheeler, 1978, De Nie, 1996, Muus et al., 1999).
Pike is distributed in the rivers and lakes of Europe, Northern Asia and Northern North America.

Sample origin
Northern part of the Netherlands.