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.

Plagopterus argentissimus
Plagopterus argentissimus
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Plagopterus argentissimus Cope, 1874

Common name: Woundfin

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: La Rivers (1962); Minckley (1973); Page and Burr (1991).

Size: 9 cm.

Native Range: Historically, in drainages of the lower Colorado River basin, including the Virgin and Gila river in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Now found only in the Virgin River, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1984a; 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 Plagopterus argentissimus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AZ196919724Agua Fria; Hassayampa; Lower Colorado-Marble Canyon; Lower Salt

Table last updated 7/19/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Stocked intentionally for conservation purposes, the goal of which was to establish self-sustaining populations of this endangered species in its historic range so as to reduce the chance of Woundfin extinction (Ono et al. 1983). Stocking was carried out by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The species was stocked in the Hassayampa River in February 1972 (500 fish), in the Salt River in March 1972 (350 fish), in Sycamore Creek in the spring of spring 1972 (a "few" fish), and in the Paria River several times between 1969 and 1972 (a total of 650 fish) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1984a, 1994c).

Status: All introduced populations failed to survive (Hendrickson and Brooks 1991). No Woundfin have been seen since their release in the Salt River. The population in Hassayampa River reproduced in the summer of 1972 but was destroyed in a flood in September of that year. The Sycamore Creek population survived the 1972-1973 flooding. Two gravid individuals were collected in late August 1973, but none have been seen since. No Woundfin were found in the Paria River in surveys conducted in 1974 and 1975 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1984a, 1994c).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: Listed as a federally endangered species in 1970 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1984a, 1993a). Recent accounts indicated that wild populations of Woundfin are now found only in to the Virgin River where they are threatened by invasion of introduced red shiner Cyprinella lutrensis, Asian tapeworm, and extensive water development (Deacon 1988).

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Nico, L.

Revision Date: 12/5/2003

Peer Review Date: 12/5/2003

Citation Information:
Nico, L., 2024, Plagopterus argentissimus Cope, 1874: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=624, Revision Date: 12/5/2003, Peer Review Date: 12/5/2003, Access Date: 7/19/2024

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 [7/19/2024].

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