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Muskellunge (top), Tiger Muskie (bottom)


North Dakota Game Species

Pike Family: There are two members of the pike family in North Dakota, the northern pike and muskellunge.

Muskellunge Identification

  • Long body and long snout with large teeth
  • Dorsal fin is located far back on the body
  • Commonly have vertical dark bars on their sides, though spotted and clear variations are also found
  • Have 6-8 pores on each side of the lower jaw, which helps distinguish them from northern pike
  • Have scales only on the upper half of the cheek


Muskie are found in a select few North Dakota waters and can attain lengths exceeding 50 inches.

The tiger muskie (bottom fish in drawing above) is a hybrid, a cross between a female muskellunge and a male northern pike.