Difference between Pike and Muskellunge
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Difference between Pike and Muskellunge

Difference between Pike and Muskellunge




      

Difference between Pike and Muskellunge


Difference between Pike and Muskellunge

Anglers often find it difficult correctly to differentiate a large pike from a muskellunge (in some cases, possibly, because the wish is father to the thought), or, say, an unusually large pickerel from a pike. The following key, quoted from Dr. James A. Henshall, will afford the means of rightly identifying and distinguishing the most fished-for members of the pike family.

"The muskellunge has the upper part of both the cheeks and gill-covers scaly, while the lower half of both cheeks and gill-covers is naked; it has from seventeen to nineteen branchiostegal rays (the branchiostegals are the rays on the underside of the gill-cover, that, like the ribs of an umbrella, assist in opening and closing it during breathing). Its coloration is of a uniform grayish hue, or when marked with spots or bars they are always of a much darker color or shade than the ground color.

"The pike has the cheeks entirely scaly, but only the upper part of the gill-cover, the lower half being naked; it has from fourteen to sixteen branchiostegal rays; its coloration is a bluish or greenish gray, with elongated or bean-shaped spots covering the sides, which are always of a lighter hue than the ground color.

"The Eastern or reticulated pickerel has both the cheeks and gill-covers entirely covered with scales; it has from fourteen to sixteen branchiostegal rays; its coloration is shades of green, with sides of golden luster, and marked with dark reticulations, mostly horizontal. It is rarely or never found west of the Alleghenies."

Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.

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