Sunday, 9 January 2011

Tough old world if you're a baby pike

It's not every day you go to net a pike and find two in your landing net.

This double had already been on the munch before it picked up a PAC member's mackerel tail. It coughed up this perfectly-formed pikelet from last year's spawning.

Left alone nature's not too shabby when it comes to maintaining a balance in our waters. But the maths is pretty mind-boggling.

A 20lbs female pike can shed up to 200,000 eggs. Yet one study showed that from 1.25m eggs - don't ask us how they counted 'em - just 180 pike lived to a year of age, 50 to two years, 39 to three years, 20 to four years and just nine survived to the age of five.

Pike-on-pike predation can account for nearly 80pc of fatalities. Stats like this put pike conservation into perspective, when you weigh up how great the odds are stacked against a pike surviving to reach double figures - like the greedy biatch that munched this mini-jack.

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