The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Ptychocheilus grandis
Ptychocheilus grandis
(Sacramento Pikeminnow)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Ptychocheilus grandis (Ayres, 1854)

Common name: Sacramento Pikeminnow

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Moyle (1976a); Page and Burr (1991).

Size: 36 cm.

Native Range: Clear Lake, Russian, Sacramento-San Joaquin, Pajaro-Salinas, and upper Pit River drainages, California (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Ptychocheilus grandis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA196619885Central Coastal; Lower Eel; Mojave; Santa Clara; South Fork Eel

Table last updated 2/27/2023

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Illegally introduced into the Eel River in 1979 or 1980; the species spread rapidly within the drainage after introduction (Brown and Moyle 1991). Fish found in Pyramid Lake probably arrived through the aqueduct with central California water (Swift et al. 1993).

Status: Established in California outside of its native range (Brown and Moyle 1991; Swift et al. 1993).

Impact of Introduction: Field observations indicated that the introduction of Sacramento Pikeminnow into the Eel River, California, resulted in changes in habitat and microhabitat use by resident fishes (natives and introduced) but no loss of species (Brown and Moyle 1991). In its native range, this piscivorous cyprinid is known to compete with trout and also prey upon young salmonids (Burns 1966d; but see Brown and Moyle 1991).

Remarks: Voucher specimens: California (SIO 66-75).

References: (click for full references)

Brown, L.R., and P.B. Moyle. 1991. Changes in habitat and microhabitat within an assemblage of stream fishes in response to predation by Sacramento squawfish (Ptychocheilus grandis). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 48(5): 849-856.

Burns, J.W. 1966. Sacramento squawfish. Pages 525-527 in A. Calhoun, (ed). Inland fisheries management. California Department of Fish and Game. Sacramento, California.

Swift, C.C., T.R. Haglund, M. Ruiz, and R.N. Fisher. 1993. The status and distribution of the freshwater fishes of southern California. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 92(3): 101-167.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Nico, L.

Revision Date: 10/7/2022

Peer Review Date: 1/24/2011

Citation Information:
Nico, L., 2023, Ptychocheilus grandis (Ayres, 1854): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=627, Revision Date: 10/7/2022, Peer Review Date: 1/24/2011, Access Date: 3/28/2023

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2023]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [3/28/2023].

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