Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Search in the Encyclopedia
  • Dut: Snoekbaars (pieterman, sander, zwarte piet)
  • Lat: Stizostedion lucioperca
  • Eng: Zander
  • Ger: Zander (Schill)
  • Fre: Sandre
Zander, from


Zander resembles pike somewhat as far as outward appearance and behavior is concerned, but it is not related. Just like perch, it has two separate dorsal fins with the front one containing spines. Zanders can grow up to 120 centimeters in length. Sometimes there are large differences in length in the first year due to a lack of prey fish or because the prey fish are too large to eat. It is not unusual to have an entire year class no larger than ten centimeters while the young zanders that get sufficient food grow to 15-20 centimeters. Zander is very tasty and therefore intensely fished in the IJsselmeer.

  • Caring father

    Spawning season begins at the end of April. The females lay the eggs in a nest made by the male in a hard bottom of gravel, sand, marl or clay. The male guards the nest and fans the eggs with its fins to keep them clean from fine silt or detritus particles. In addition, he provides the eggs with oxygen. The larvae and the young fish stay in open water.

  • Distribution and habitat

    Zander is from origin a fish for major rivers and deep lakes. It likes deep dark areas with no current. Originally, zander was found in Europe from the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Botnia, east of the Elbe, around a major part of the Black Sea till in Asia around the Caspian Sea. The first zander in the Netherlands was caught in 1888 by Lobith. The zander probably reproduced in the lower rivers and spread from there over the entire country.
    Momentarily, zander is found in large numbers in the IJsselmeer and in the large rivers and lakes, as well as in small rivers and stationary waters. It is one of the most common fish in the Netherlands, even found on Texel.
    Zander is a favorite fish for cormorants, to the point that commercial as well as sport fishermen claim their catches are being seriously threatened. According to them, they would catch three times more zander in the IJsselmeer if the cormorant disappeared.