Recreational fishers preferentially target top predators (Donaldson et al. 2011). In this context, northern pike (Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758, hereafter pike for simplicity) constitutes a preferd target species of many freshwater and coastal recreational fishers across much of its natural circumpolar distribution in the northern hemisphere (e.g. Paukert et al. 2001, Wolter et al. 2003, Arlinghaus et al. 2008a, Crane et al. 2015). In the German states Berlin and Brandenburg, for example, the majority of anglers primarly target pike (Ensinger et al. 2016). Pike are not only regularly targeted in Germany, but are also consumed by many anglers (Fig. 12.1), although voluntary catch-and-release seems to be on the rise among more specialized angler segments. Pike are also regularly eaten in other countries in central and Eastern Europe (e.g. Poland) as well as Russia (Mickiewicz and Wolos 2012). The species is also commonly targeted by anglers in Scandinavia, the UK, the Netherlands, other countries in central Europe, and many states in the USA (e.g. Wisconsin, Minnesota)(Paukert et al. 2001, Diana and Smith 2008, Pierce 2012, Stalhammar et al. 2014). In some of these countries (e.g. UK, the Netherlands, some states of the USQ) pike are often voluntarily released after capture (Pierce et al. 1995, Paukert et al. 2001, Margenau et al. 2003, Stalhammar et al. 2014). Similarly, in the USAthe congeneric muskellunge (Esox masquinongy Mitchill, 1824) is a highly desired target of anglers and often managed for its trophy qualities based on voluntary catch-and-release angling (Crane et al. 2015). As top predators, both pike and muskellunge occur in lowe densities and are toothy, large-bodied fishes with a distinct body shape and ecology. These traits are unique among freshwater fishes, likely explaining the attractiveness of esocids to recreational fishers (Johnston et al. 2013).
Recreational piking - sustainably managing pike in recreational fisheries
Arlinghaus, R., Alós, J., Beardmore, B., Díaz, Á. M., Hühn, D., Johnston, F., Klefoth, T., Kuparinen, A., Matsumura, S., Pagel, T., Pieterek, T., Riepe, C. (2018). Recreational piking - sustainably managing pike in recreational fisheries. In: Skov, C. & Nilsson, P. A. (eds.), Biology and Ecology of Pike. CRC Press, 288-335
Erschienen in: In: Skov, C. & Nilsson, P. A. (eds.), Biology and Ecology of Pike. CRC Press, 288-335