All About Zander
By angelamontana

Posted: June 3, 2024

A few people have reached out about zander recently, so we wanted to share some information about these fish which are commonly referred to as Pike-Perch and European Walleye, is a fish from freshwater and brackish habitats in western Eurasia. According to Invading Species, this species is very similar to its North American cousin, the Walleye.

One key way to tell zander apart from walleye, according to Montana Field Guides, is by checking out their dorsal fins. Zander’s dorsal fin is spiny and spotted, just like our local sauger. However, to distinguish between sauger and zander, look for blotchy spots on zander’s sides, while sauger sports a darker shade with large, dark saddle-like patches.

The Zander, native to Europe and western Siberia, has been introduced in various parts of Europe and England. North Dakota showed interest in Zander as a sport fish, hatching eggs from Holland in 1987 but destroying the fry due to virus concerns. Spiritwood Lake was chosen for an experimental release, and although initially thought not to persist, five young Zander were found in 2005, confirming a small established population. Genetic tests show pure Zander with no hybridization. Despite flooding connecting Spiritwood Lake to the James River, no Zander escaped. Zander occurrences have been reported in the Dakotas and are listed as injurious wildlife in the U.S. since 2016. Currently, Zander are not found in Montana.

And there you have it.  Some information all about zander.


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