I'm not going to say it's _not_ a northern, but I'm pretty darn sure it was
a grass pickerel.
He'd been in a 30' purse seine for at least 20-30 minutes on a warm day
(probably would have been a better time to do the sample only having two
people to go through the seine, but this is how it worked out) and was one
of the last fish out. For perspective, bluntnose minnows were croaking. It
was pretty bad carnage, more than I really wanted to see.
So his colors are all screwed up and I wouldn't gauge by that. In this pic
you can really see the scales on the upper operculum, but it's still not
clear on the lower, and it begins to pixelate at any magnification, which
doesn't clear up any doubt.
In hindsight, I should have had the student take vouchers, since this was an
actual study, but wasn't really fully familiar with the practice until this
fall when I began corresponding with Dr. Cavender (they were either going
home to a tank, going on a hook, or going back :)
Or... I was with Mr. Borgia and there's nothing he won't throw in a jar ;)
In this case, we should have especially since this lil' guy probably bit the
farm anyway (among others). I tried to assure reviving him, but there's
only so much you can do once they roll off in that turbid water (they're
gone once inches away). You can see what we're usually dealing with off to
the upper right. The netting is right at the water's surface. That's not
He came from the Ottawa River/Lake Erie just above the Secor Road dam.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark" <nanfa_at_jonahsaquarium.com>
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2003 1:25 PM
Subject: NANFA-- Esox ID Please, was The rest of story...
> With Todd's permission, I have posted the Esox photo to the web at:
> The upper operculum is clearly scaled. I can't discern whether the
> lower operculum or cheek are scaled. There are clearly dark
> spots/blotches on the fins. Todd should be able to tell us where
> this fish was caught. Anyone out there have enough expertise to give
> a species ID from this photo? Thanks.
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