The grass pickerel makes a good study subject because as well as being rare, the fish is a keystone species in its community--the top predator in the food chain--and its health reflects that of the entire system.
As a species-at-risk research scientist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, my role in the project is to research the poorly understood biology of the grass pickerel.
Like other members of the pike family, the grass pickerel likely spawns in early spring in flooded, heavily vegetated areas (ideal habitat created by the very plugged drains agriculturists are required to unblock).
As an ambush predator relying on its eyesight and on the camouflage afforded by its pale green coloration, the grass pickerel requires clear water and cover such as vegetation and log jams.
Axis-1 represents a gradient of grass pickerel
, blackstripe topminnow, yellow bullhead (Ameiurus natalis), and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) ([R.
Information on specific grass pickerel habitat in the Midwestern U.
Our objective was to determine whether grass pickerel catches were related to available habitat in streams and rivers throughout Indiana.
2] were sampled for grass pickerel from 1990-2005 (Fig.
Among the exceptions, the species occurring with less frequency are the golden shiner (number 3), the lake chubsucker (number 13), the yellow bullhead (15), and the grass pickerel (18).
The results suggest the spotfin shiner and warmouth may be more common now in lakes and the golden shiner, lake chubsucker, yellow bullhead, and grass pickerel less common.
This might also explain my observation of fewer grass pickerel (18) at present in the sample lakes (Figure 2).
15 1 13 104 4 Channel catfish 3 5 47 14 149 92 Common carp 2 7 7 8 Creek chub Longnose dace Emerald shiner 1 Fathead minnow 77 9 2 1 Flathead chub 3 4 26 35 174 569 Grass pickerel
1 Largemouth bass 6 1 2 4 Red shiner 308 382 93 143 439 80 River shiner Sand shiner 326 165 198 36 831 547 Sanger 1 Shorthead redhorse 4 4 4 1 Stone catfish 1 White crappie 1 1 1 White sucker 2 1 Yellow bullhead 1 1 Yellow perch No.