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Invasive Species: Zander


(Sander lucioperca)
*Not detected in Michigan*


Report this species:

Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool.

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone -



  • Slender body, grey-green back, white belly, dark transverse rings.
  • Average length: 50 cm.
  • 2 dorsal fins, pointed head, many small teeth and a few large teeth.
  • Not a hybrid of a pike and perch.

Photo courtesy of eLNuko.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey,

Habitat: Eutrophic lakes, brackish coastal lakes/estuaries, and large turbid rivers. Homing is well developed and migrations can be as far as 250 km.

Diet: Predominantly feed on gregarious fishes in pelagic waters.

Native Range: Continental Europe to western Siberia.

U.S. Distribution: There is an established population of zander in Spiritwood Lake in North Dakota.

Local Concern: Introduction into Michigan waters could lead to a crash in some fish communities. There is also a concern for hybridization with walleye.

Potential Means of Introduction: Biomanipulation, illegal stocking.

Other Names: European pike perch.

Native look-alikes and how you can tell them apart from a zander:

  • Walleye: Body color is much more golden, light dorsal fin with a dark area at the base, white spot on the bottom of the tail.
  • Sauger: Spots on the dorsal fin.
  • Yellow Perch: 6-9 vertical bars on their sides, no canines.


Zander Invasive Species Alert (printable PDF)