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Pikeminnow in the Eel River

Pikeminnow, also known as the Sacramento Squawfish, or more formally as Ptychocheilus grandis, is a large fish native to the Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Russian River systems. They were introduced into the Eel River during the late 1970's (Brown et al 1987), presumably as the result of a bait bucket dump into Lake Pillsbury.

Mature Pikeminnow unfortunately prey on young salmonids in the Eel River system, and are considered a major factor in salmonid decline. They are difficult to control and are now present through the entire Eel system. Pikeminnow prefer warmer temperatures, and salmonids prefer cooler temperatures, so there is some segregation. In their native rivers, they coexist with salmon populations.

Pikeminnow Suppression presentation for ERRC Meeting, 2/15/13 (7 MB PDF) - presentation by Kubicek and Steiner updating the status on the Sacramento Pikeminnow suppression project as of winter 2013. The PDF includes pictures, maps, and count data, as well as discussion of various methods used over the years to eradicate Pikeminnow. The data suggest that the Pikeminnow population may have reached an equilibrium.

Ptychocheilus grandis and Eel River Salmonids - Potter Valley Project Monitoring Program (FERC No. 77, Article 39) Effects of Operation on Upper Eel River Anadromous Salmonids. Final Report, March 1998. Produced for PG&E by Steiner Environmental Consulting

USGS Sacramento pikeminnow fact sheet

Ptychocheilus grandis at fishbase.org