Fish of the Year 2024 - Pikeperch

Sander lucioperca

Although the pikeperch inhabits many of our larger lakes, rivers as well as shallow bays, it is very finicky about its habitat. It prefers rapidly warming water bodies with low transparency that have areas with a sandy-gravel bottom and sparse vegetation.

The jaws of the pikeperch are very strong for a reason – it is a predatory fish that ambushes and chases its prey and even eats its own kind. Being a top predator in its habitat, it controls the population of other animals, thus acting as a keeper of natural balance.

The pikeperch has long been a highly valued food fish on our dining table due to its delicate taste. According to the Fish Guide (Estonian website that help consumers navigate in the deep waters of ethical consumption), you can feel free to eat pikeperch when caught with a net from a lake, in particular Lake Võrtsjärv, where the species is in a much better condition than in the sea. Perch caught from the Baltic Sea should, however, be avoided.