Fish Identification Guide

Redfin Pickerel
Esox americanus
Illustrations by Joe Tomelleri
Description: Small, tubular-shaped, native fish usually found in vegetated streams, seldom grow to more than 12 inches and is often misidentified as small northern pike. It has a dark teardrop under each eye, 4 pores on each side of lower jaw's underside, and both the gill cover and cheek are completely scaled. It is primarily an ambush predator, primarily feeding on aquatic insects, crayfish, and fish.
Family: Pike
Type: Sport Fish
Range: Primarily Niobrara River basin, also found in isolated areas of the Platte River basin.

Source: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website at