Esox americanus
Gmelin 1789
Family Esocidae

Lateral view of redfin pickerels
The figure above shows three redfin pickerel collected from Lake County, top, Escambia County, middle, and Bradford County, bottom, in Florida. These fish are now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection. Top: UF 238404 Middle: UF 185415 Bottom: UF 237610 Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The redfin pickerel is a member of the pike and mudminnow family. It has a large, duckbill-like snout and dark green to brown wavy bars along its side. The redfin pickerel has red, yellow or dusky fins and between 11 and 13 branchiostegal rays. It has a long and cylindrical body and can be found in lakes, ponds, swamps and backwaters and sluggish pools of creeks and small to large rivers.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Native freshwater
  • Florida Distribution — Western and North Central and Peninsula drainages
  • River Drainages — Perdido River, Escambia River, Blackwater River, Yellow River, Choctawhatchee River, Econfina Creek, Apalachicola River, Ochlockonee River, minor Gulf tributaries, Suwannee River, Withlacoochee River, Tampa Bay, the Mayakka or Peace River, Everglades, Indian River, the Tolomato or Matanzas River, St. John’s River and the St. Mary’s River
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