Ptychocheilus oregonensis, Northern pikeminnow : gamefish, aquarium

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Ptychocheilus oregonensis (Richardson, 1836)

Northern pikeminnow
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Cypriniformes (Carps) > Leuciscidae (Minnows) > Laviniinae
Etymology: Ptychocheilus: Greek, ptyx, ptychos = fold + Greek, cheilos = lip (Ref. 45335);  oregonensis: oregonensis meaning - of Oregon (Ref. 1998).
More on author: Richardson.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic. Temperate; 55°N - 39°N

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North America: Pacific drainages from Nass River in British Columbia, Canada to Columbia River in Nevada, USA; Harney River basin in Oregon, USA; Peace River system (Arctic basin) in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 63.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5723); common length : 22.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 13.0 kg (Ref. 1998); max. reported age: 11 years (Ref. 72462)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-10; Anal soft rays: 8 - 9; Vertebrae: 44 - 46. Mot deep bodied, greatest depth 16.6% (TL), belly gently rounded in mature individuals. Head moderately long, its length 22.8% (TL); eye small in adults, 17.6% of head length, but larger in young 7.6 cm long, when 25.2% of head length; snout long, 33.1% of head length of adults; interorbital width 29.6% of head length; mouth large, extending back to below anterior margin of eye. All fins clear. Pelvic axillary process usually a ridge. Peritoneum present. Nuptial tubercles fine, on head and back, on pectoral and pelvic fins and sometimes on the caudal fin. Dark green or green-brown dorsally becoming silvery white or cream ventrally. The lower fins of the males become yellow or yellow-orange during spawning period (Ref. 1998). Dorsal fin usually with 9 rays; anal fin with 8 rays; 48-72, usually 51-62, scales on back from head to dorsal fin; 64-79, usually 66-75, scales on lateral line; and 12-20 scales above lateral line (Ref. 86798).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in lakes, pools and occasionally in runs of small to large rivers. Large individuals occur in deep water (Ref. 5723, 86798). Feeds on fishes, terrestrial insects, plankton, aquatic insect larvae, and crustaceans while inshore; feeds mostly on fishes while offshore (Ref. 1998). Male squawfish, prickly sculpins, and newts prey on the eggs (Ref. 1998). Edible but not well appreciated (1998).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

A female is surrounded by males close to the bottom; eggs and sperm are released at the same time and eggs settle in the gravel.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 2011. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 663p. (Ref. 86798)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 01 March 2012


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO - Publication: search | FishSource |

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Larval dynamics
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

Estimates based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.5625   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01072 (0.00440 - 0.02607), b=3.02 (2.80 - 3.24), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.4 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 13.6 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.08-0.21).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100).