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Simple Ways to Identify Your Catch

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Anglers are encouraged to harvest northern pike and muskellunge and not release them back to the water alive.

Muskie, Pike, or Pickerel?

To view images and information on freshwater fish species in Maine visit:


Muskellunge – Dark, vertical bars on light green or brown background.


Only upper half of cheek and gill cover scaled.


Northern Pike – Light colored, irregular markings on dark background along flank. Dorsal fin insertion slightly ahead of anal fin.

Pike-1_opt.jpgScales on only the upper
half of gill cover


Chain Pickerel – Dark, chain-like markings on light background along flank, and a dark vertical line under eye.


Cheek and gill cover
fully scaled.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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