Common name: Sacramento Pikeminnow
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Moyle (1976a); Page and Burr (1991). The American Fisheries Society Names Committee has changed the common name of all squawfish to pikeminnow (Nelson et al. 1998).
Size: 36 cm.
Native Range: Clear Lake, Russian, Sacramento-San Joaquin, Pajaro-Salinas, and upper Pit River drainages, California (Page and Burr 1991).
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.
Table last updated 9/28/2022
† 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).
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.
Revision Date: 9/9/2022
Peer Review Date: 1/24/2011
Nico, L., 2022, 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: 9/9/2022, Peer Review Date: 1/24/2011, Access Date: 9/28/2022
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.