Muskellunge or muskie (Esox masquinongy) are large, relatively rare freshwater fish of North America. They are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae. Their native range includes the St. Lawrence River, Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and Mississippi River basins. The name muskellunge is thought to be a corruption of the Ojibwa words maskinonge meaning "ugly fish" and lunge meaning "lake trout." Another possible etymology stems from maggue allongee, the name given to the fish by early French settlers meaning "long face."






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Growing to lengths of 71-183 centimetres (2-6 feet) and weights of over 30 kilograms (66 pounds), muskellunge are powerful predators known for their ferocity. Anglers seek mature animals as coveted trophies or simply for a good fight. While normally solitary animals, Muskellunge have been known to form small schools in lakes where prey is plentiful. Found in cold, clear lakes and large rivers, muskellunge closely resemble the northern pike in both appearance and behaviour. Like the pike, their bodies are elongate with flat heads and dorsal, pelvic and anal fins set far back of the head. This is the classic lie-in-wait or ambush predator body plan: Muskellunge lurk among the weeds and floating plants where they wait for an opportune moment to strike. Their linear speed is had at the expense of manoeuvrability. When not darting at targets, muskie prefer to remain stationary.

Above Images Come From The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


























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