Common name: Pike
Scientific name:
Esox lucius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Class: Actinopterygii
Irish name:
Irish angling record (River):
19.051kg (1979, River Barrow)
Irish angling record (Lake):
19.391kg (2005, White Lake)
Native species:
Hybrids: No

Identifying features

Torpedo shaped body; shovel like snout; large mouth with many sharp teeth; single dorsal fin set far back, over the anal fin; greenish olive, mottled with lighter patches; the young have a more barred coloration; Grows to about 27kg 4.

Environment and Habitat

Inhabit lake bottom and water column; migrate within freshwater only1; found in lowland lakes and rivers; juveniles hide in dense vegetation2;

European distribution

France to Siberia, south as far as Northern Italy. Not found in Northern Scotland. 74°N - 36°N, 167°W - 180°E; found in most medium and large Irish watercourses.

Economic value in Ireland

Valuable for angling tourism.

Red list status

Least concern.

Irish legislation status

Protected by Conservation of pike bye-law No. 809, 2006– bans the killing of any pike greater than 50cm; prohibits the possession of more than one pike less than 50cm or more than 750g; prohibits the killing of more than one pike per person per day.

EU legislation status


Recent publication

  • icon Genetic structure of pike and their history in Ireland (7.57 MB)
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