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.

Sander canadensis
Sander canadensis
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Sander canadensis (Griffith and Smith, 1834)

Common name: Sauger

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).  Reasons for changing the generic name from Stizostedion to Sander are given in Nelson et al. 2003.  The specific name is changed from canadense to canadensis to agree with the masculine Sander (Nelson et al. 2004).

Size: 76 cm.

Native Range: St. Lawrence-Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and Mississippi River basins from Quebec to Alberta, and south to northern Alabama and Louisiana (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 Sander canadensis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AL198019802Apalachicola Basin; Lower Alabama
AR198020186Elk; Little Red; Lower Arkansas-Maumelle; Lower Ouachita-Bayou De Loutre; Lower White; Lower White-Bayou Des Arc
CO199320093Cache La Poudre; Huerfano; Upper Arkansas
GA196119957Altamaha; Apalachicola Basin; Lower Flint; Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding; Savannah; Tugaloo; Upper Savannah
ID199019922Lower Bear; Middle Bear
IL200720071Lower Fox
IN199919991Upper White
KS195820063Chikaskia; Ninnescah; Upper Walnut River
LA193720028Boeuf-Tensas; Deer-Steele; East Central Louisiana Coastal; Lower Grand; Lower Mississippi-Baton Rouge; Lower Mississippi-New Orleans; Lower Ouachita; Whisky Chitto
MS193619844Bayou Pierre; Coles Creek; Deer-Steele; Middle Pearl-Strong
NC198019801Upper Catawba
OK198020203Arkansas-White-Red Region; Bois D'arc-Island; Lower Cimarron
SC198019801Lower Savannah
SD200020001Middle White
TX198520123Cedar; Lake Texoma; Leon
WI192519251Upper Fox

Table last updated 6/17/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked for sportfishing in most areas. Introductions in the Lake Michigan drainage of Wisconsin are likely due to an canal connection linking the Wisconsin drainage to the Fox drainage.

Status: Established in Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. Reported from Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Nebraska. Extirpated in North Carolina. Unknown in other areas.

Impact of Introduction: Sauger compete with walleye where both species coexist, but are generally out-competed by the walleye except in highly turbid waters where the Saugers' eyes are better adapted (Schneider et al. 2007).

Remarks: None.

References: (click for full references)

Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Giilbert, R. N. Lea and J. D. Williams. 2003. The "Names of Fishes" list, including recommendations in fish names: Chinook salmon for chinook salmon, and Sander to replace Stizostedion for the sauger and walleye. Fisheries. 28(7): 38-39.

Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and Scientific Names of Fishes from the United States, Canada and Mexico, Sixth Edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 29. Bethesda, MD.

Schneider, J.C., R.P. O'Neal, and R.D. Clark, Jr. 2007. Ecology, management, and status of walleye, sauger, and yellow perch in Michigan. State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources Special Report 41. 86 pp.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2009. STORET database http://www.epa.gov/storet/ accessed 6/17/09

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Cannister

Revision Date: 8/15/2019

Peer Review Date: 2/21/2011

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Cannister, 2024, Sander canadensis (Griffith and Smith, 1834): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=828, Revision Date: 8/15/2019, Peer Review Date: 2/21/2011, Access Date: 6/17/2024

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. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/17/2024].

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