First Occurrence of Chain Pickerel (Esox niger) in Ontario: Possible Range Expansion from New York Waters of Eastern Lake Ontario

James A. Hoyle, Colin Lake


In this paper, we document the first Chain Pickerel (Esox niger) collected in Ontario and the first on the northwestern side of the St. Lawrence River in Canada. The fish was caught by a local commercial fisherman in April 2008. Since 2008, five additional specimens have been caught and are also documented here: three in 2009 and two more through spring 2010. All individuals were mature adults in robust condition. The appearance of Chain Pickerel in the Ontario waters of eastern Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River may signal an expansion in the range of this species from New York state waters.


Esox niger; Chain Pickerel; range expansion; Ontario; Lake Ontario; St. Lawrence River

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