Sacramento pikeminnow

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Sacramento pikeminnow
Pytocheilus grandis.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Subfamily: Leuciscinae
Genus: Ptychocheilus
P. grandis
Binomial name
Ptychocheilus grandis
(Ayres, 1854)
  • Gila grandis Ayres, 1854
  • Leuciscus gracilis Ayres, 1854
  • Ptychocheilus major Agassiz, 1855
  • Ptychocheilus harfordi Jordan & Gilbert, 1881

The Sacramento pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus grandis), also known as the Sacramento squawfish, is a large cyprinid fish of California, United States. It is native to the Los Angeles River, Sacramento-San Joaquin, Pajaro-Salinas, Russian River, Clear Lake and upper Pit River river basins. It is predatory and reaches up to 1.4 m (4.6 ft) in total length.[2]

The species has been introduced into the Salt River, where it is considered an invasive species.[3]

The species was introduced to the Eel River watershed in the 1970's by anglers using the pikeminnow as bait. It has a large appetite for salmonid species once it reaches about 6 inches (15 cm) long. Until then, it eats anything in its path. Because it is invasive in the Eel River, it has very few predators. River otter populations have increased and helped stabilize the pikeminnow population, but they still put pressure on endangered salmonid species.[4][full citation needed]


  1. ^ NatureServe (2013). "Ptychocheilus grandis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T202358A18231558.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2019). "Ptychocheilus grandis" in FishBase. May 2019 version.
  3. ^ "Salt River Basin Assessment Report". Coastal Watershed Planning and Assessment Program. California Department of Fish and Game. May 2005. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  4. ^ "Dr. Bret C. Harvey - Publications". Retrieved 2019-04-08.

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