Re: NANFA-- Blue Pike news

Bruce Stallsmith (
Tue, 23 Jan 2001 10:23:23 -0500

Reading this account about blue pike vs. yellow pike, I've developed serious
doubts about whether the blue pike is really a species. Dr. King below says
the blue pike "was fished out before it had a chance to evolve". Huh?!? It
sounds like the "blue" pike was a fixed morph in a complex of populations
that probably interbred. Maybe there's something to the theory that
thiaminase in smelt was/is destructive of B1 vitamins in some of these
pikes, and they've been selected against in the last 50 years. If true, even
if you find believable "blue" pikes and breed a bunch of them, if you put
them back in the Great Lakes the same thing will happen again since there
are still smelt in the Lakes.

Am I missing something here?

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

>From all accounts, the blue pike was distinct in both appearance and
>habitat from its cousin the yellow pike. However, King said, it is possible
>that the blue pike, while evolving as a separate species, did not have
>enough time to develop a clearly different DNA.
>"It was fished out before it had a chance to evolve," he speculated.
>King said there were no fish in the lakes at the end of the last Ice Age
>10,000 to 12,000 years ago. If blue pike were a separate species that
>evolved from yellow pike, even 10,000 years might not have been enough
>time for blues to develop a radically distinctive DNA, he reasoned.

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