Ameiurus natalis
Ameiurus natalis
(Yellow Bullhead)
Fishes
Native Transplant
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Ameiurus natalis (Lesueur, 1819)

Common name: Yellow Bullhead

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994). Another commonly used name is Ictalurus natalis.

Size: 47 cm.

Native Range: Atlantic and Gulf Slope drainages from New York to northern Mexico, and St. Lawrence-Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins from southern Quebec west to central North Dakota, and south to Gulf (Page and Burr 1991).

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Alaska
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Hawaii
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Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
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Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: The Yellow Bullhead has been introduced into all the major drainages in Arizona, established in Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge (Miller and Lowe 1967; Minckley 1973; Wydoski and Whitney 1979; Deacon and Williams 1984; Tilmant 1999; USFWS 2005), including the Colorado, Gila, Salt, Little Colorado, San Juan, and Bill Williams; the Lost, Colorado, Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Klamath drainages, and drainages in southern California (Moyle 1976a; Wydoski and Whitney 1979); the Colorado and Rio Grande drainages, Colorado (Zuckerman and Behnke 1986; Walker 1993); the Connecticut, Housatonic and Thames drainages of Connecticut (Whitworth 1996); the Snake River, above and below the falls, in Idaho (Idaho Department of Fish and Game 1996); drainages in eastern and central Massachusetts (Hartel 1992; Cardoza et al. 1993; Hartel et al. 1996); the Beaver, Tongue, Yellowstone, and Powder rivers, two locations in the Clark's Fork drainage and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana (Brown 1971; Cross et al. 1986; Holton 1990; Tilmant 1999); the Colorado River and througout Nevada (Deacon and Williams 1984; Vinyard 2001); the Merrimack River and several other non-specific areas in New Hampshire (Bailey and Oliver 1939; Scarola 1973; Schmidt 1986); the Rio Grande, Canadian, Gila, San Francisco, Pecos, Dry Cimarron, and Arkansas drainages in New Mexico (Koster 1957; Sublette et al. 1990; Platania 1991); the lower Columbia drainage (Oregon Department of Fisheries 2001), the Willamette River (Smith 1896; Lampman 1946; Bond 1973, 1994), Benton County (Logan 1994), Warner Valley (Sigler and Sigler 1987), Lower Columbia-Clatskanie and Tualatin drainages (Logan 1995; Anonymous 2001) Oregon; upper Lake Powell, the Colorado River, the lower San Juan River, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Utah (Tyus et al. 1982; Sigler and Sigler 1996; Tilmant 1999); possibly the upper Levisa system in the Big Sandy drainage and Kanawha River in Virginia (Hocutt et al. 1986; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994); Hanford reach of the Columbia River, Olympic National Park, and other non-specific locations in Washington (Lampman 1946; Gray and Dauble 1977; Fletcher, personal communication; Tilmant 1999); and the New River, West Virginia (Burkhead et al. 1980; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994; Stauffer et al. 1995).

Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked.

Status: Established in most introduced waters. Recently discovered in West Virginia (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). First found in Connecticut in the late 1970s (Whitworth 1996). Extirpated from the Pecos drainage in New Mexico (Sublette et al. 1990).

Impact of Introduction: Introduced predatory fishes, including the Yellow Bullhead, are likely at least partially responsible for the decline of the Chiricahua leopard frog Rana chiricahuensis in southeastern Arizona (Rosen et al. 1995), and have been shown to reduce the abundance and diversity of native prey species in several Pacific Northwest rivers (Hughes and Herlihy 2012).

Remarks: Neither Everhart and Seaman (1971) nor Beckman (1974) included this species in the listings of Colorado fishes.

References: (click for full references)

Anonymous 2001. Oregon's Warm Water Fishing with Public Access. [online]. URL at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/ODFwhtml/FishText/WWFishing/WWFishAL.html.

Becker, G. C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI.

Brown, C. J. D. 1971. Fishes of Montana. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

Burkhead, N. M., R. E. Jenkins, and E. G. Maurakis. 1980. New records, distribution and diagnostic characters of Virginia ictalurid catfishes with an adnexed adipose fin. Brimleyana 4:75--93.

Cooper, E. L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA.

Deacon, J. E., and J. E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103--118.

Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Fletcher, D. - Warmwater Fisheries Resource Manager, Washington Department of Wildlife, Olympia, WA. Response to NBS-G nonindigenous questionaire and other reports. 1992.

Hartel, K. E. 1992. Non-native fishes known from Massachusetts freshwaters. Occasional Reports of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Fish Department, Cambridge, MA. 2. September. pp. 1--9.

Hocutt, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the fishes of the central Appalachians and central Atlantic Coastal Plain. 161-212 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Holton, G. D. 1990. A field guide to Montana fishes. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena, MT.

Hughes, R.M. and A.T. Herlihy. 2012. Patterns in catch per unit effort of native prey fish and alien piscivorous fish in 7 Pacific Northwest USA rivers. Fisheries 37(5):201-211.

Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Koster, W. J. 1957. Guide to the fishes of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.

Lampman, B. H. 1946. The coming of the pond fishes. Binfords and Mort, Portland, OR.

Miller, R.R. and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Part 2. Fishes of Arizona, p 133-151, In: C.H. Lowe, ed. The Vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press. Tucson.

Minckley, W. L. 1973. Fishes of Arizona. Arizona Fish and Game Department. Sims Printing Company, Inc., Phoenix, AZ.

Moyle, P. B. 1976a. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Platania, S. P. 1991. Fishes of the Rio Chama and upper Rio Grande, New Mexico, with preliminary comments on their longitudinal distribution. Southwestern Naturalist 36(2):186--193.

Rosen, P.C., C.R. Schwalbe, D.A. Parizek, Jr., P.A. Holm, and C.H. Lowe. 1995. Introduced aquatic vertebrates in the Chiricahua region: effects on declining native ranid frogs. Pages 251-261 in DeBano, L.H., P.H. Folliott, A. Ortega-Rubio, G.J. Gottfried, R.H. Hamre, and C.B. Edminster, eds. Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago: the sky islands of southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Fort Collins, CO.

Scarola, J. F. 1973. Freshwater fishes of New Hampshire. New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Division of Inland and Marine Fisheries. 131 pp.

Sigler, W. F., and J. W. Sigler. 1987. Fishes of the Great Basin: A Natural History. University of Nevada Press, Reno, NV. 425 pp.

Sigler, W. F., and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT. 375 pp.

Smith, H. M. 1896. A review of the history and results of the attempts to acclimatize fish and other water animals in the Pacific states. Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission for 1895, 40:379--472.

Sublette, J. E., M. D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM. 393 pp.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

Tyus, H. M., B. D. Burdick, R. A. Valdez, C. M. Haynes, T. A. Lytle, and C. R. Berry. 1982. Fishes of the upper Colorado River basin: distribution, abundance, and status. Pages 12--70 in W. H. Miller, H. M. Tyus, and C. A. Carlson, editors. Fishes of the upper Colorado River system: present and future, Western Division, American Fisheries Society.

Walker, P. - Colorado Division of Wildlife, Brush, CO.

Whitworth, W. R. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Bulletin 114.

Zuckerman, L. D., and R. J. Behnke. 1986. Introduced fishes in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Pages 435--452 in R. H. Stroud, editor. Fish culture in fisheries management. Proceedings of a symposium on the role of fish culture in fisheries management at Lake Ozark, MO, March 31--April 3, 1985. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 5/29/2012

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Ameiurus natalis (Lesueur, 1819): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=733, Revision Date: 5/29/2012, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/22/2018

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.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/22/2018].

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