Iowa DNR
River & Stream Biological Monitoring
Fish and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Surveys
Physical Habitat Assessments

Muskellunge Esox masquinongy

Esocidae (Pikes and Mudminnows)
Trophic Class
Top Carnivore
Is Exotic to Iowa?
Is Lithophilous Spawner?
Is Hybrid?
State Listing Status
Not Listed
Assessment Program Statistics

This species was found at 0 bioassessment sites, 0 rapid fish bioassessment sites, 2 fisheries assessment sites, and 0 fisheries presence-only assessment sites. In total, it was collected at 2 distinct sites, or 0.1% of the 1473 total sites monitored by the bioassessment program. It is the 120th most commonly collected species.

The Muskellunge was collected in 0 bioassessment sampling sessions and 2 fisheries assessment sessions. It was present in 0 rapid bioassessment sessions and 0 presence-only sessions.

The biological assessment program has collected a total of 3 individual Muskellunge specimens, ranking it the #132 most collected fish.

Species Characteristics

The Muskellunge differs from other pikes in having the upper half of the cheeks and opercles lightly scaled and the lower portion of these parts scaleless. The lower jaw has a row of 6 to 9 pores along each side. There are 16 to 19 branchiostegal rays, usually 19 rays in the dorsal fin, and 147 to 155 cycloid scales along the lateral line. The color of Muskellunge varies; it is usually olive to dark gray with dark over markings on the sides. When present, these markings will have dark spots or bars on a light background.

Species Distribution Maps

HUC12 watersheds where this species has been found