The muskellunge (Esox masquinongy), and often abbreviated “muskie” or “musky” is a species of large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. The muskellunge is the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae. The common name comes from the Ojibwa word maashkinoozhe, meaning “ugly pike”. Muskellunge closely resemble other esocids such as the northern pike and American pickerel in both appearance and behavior. Like the Northern Pike and other aggressive pikes, the body plan is typical of ambush predators with an elongated body, flat head and dorsal, pelvic and anal fins set far back on the body. Muskellunge are typically 28–48 inches (0.71–1.2 m) long and weigh 5–36 pounds (2.3–16 kg), though some have reached up to 6 feet (1.8 m) and almost 70 pounds (32 kg). The fish are a light silver, brown, or green with dark vertical stripes on the flank, which may tend to break up into spots. In some cases, markings may be absent altogether, especially in fish from turbid waters. Muskellunge lakes and large rivers from northern Michigan, northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota through the Great Lakes region, north into Canada, throughout most of the St Lawrence River drainage and northward throughout the upper Mississippi valley, although the species also extends as far south as Chattanooga in the Tennessee River valley. They prefer clear waters where they lurk along weed edges, rock outcrops or other structures to rest. A fish forms two distinct home ranges in summer: a shallow range and a deeper one. The shallow range is generally much smaller than the deeper range due to shallow water heating up. A musky will continually patrol the ranges in search of available food in the appropriate conditions of water temperature.