Ptychocheilus Oregonensis

Cyprinidae

Cypriniformes

Lakes, Slow Rivers, Backwaters of Streams and Rivers

2 - 8 pounds

1" - 25"

Northern Pikeminnow

Also Known As: Northern Pikeminnow, Northern Squawfish, Columbia River Dace  

Northern Pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus Oregonensis) Fish Description

Northern Pikeminnows are slender in appearance with silver bodies. They have gold-green backs with a single dorsal fin. Appearance-wise, some people have mistaken the Northern Pikeminnow for the Plymouth. In Asian countries, it’s possible that the Northern Pikeminnow might even be passed off as a Milkfish due to their similarities.

However, there are some clear-cut differences. The first difference is the barbels. Northern Pikeminnows have dark bars near their chins that serve as their barbels. Peamouths don’t have barbels and neither do Milkfish. Another is the way their mouths are designed. A Northern Pikeminnow’s mouth usually extends all the way to their eye. The edge of their mouth is parallel to the middle of their eye whereas a Peamouth’s mouth barely reaches its eye and that their lips are somewhat red. Milkfish is also differentiated from Northern Pinkminnows for their dark-colored backs (usually a navy-blue color).

 

Northern Pikeminnow Diet and Size

Northern Pikeminnows prey on Salmons and Steelheads. They are considered voracious predators if their numbers are not continuously culled. They are adept predators which are why Northern Pikeminnows can quickly dominate over Salmons and Steelheads with little difficulty.

However, Northern Pikeminnows also consume insects (some terrestrial and aquatic ones) and some plants.

Northern Pikeminnows can grow up to 2.1ft (25 inches) and can weigh as heavy as 7.5 lbs.

 

Interesting Facts about the Northern Pikeminnow 

  • Northern Pikeminnows are considered an invasive species.
    • They are considered invasive due to their voracious appetite when it comes to Salmon.
    • Anglers are encouraged to catch Northern Pikeminnows to exchange them for money as a means to preserve the Salmon population.
    • There’s even have a sports program that tells rewards you for fishing out Northern Pikeminnows.
  • Northern Pikeminn