Ictalurus pricei (Rutter 1896)

Identification: The Yaqui Catfish is very similar to the Channel Catfish but can be distinguished by its shorter pectoral spine, which goes 3-4 times into the predorsal length, compared to 2-3 times in Channel Catfish), and its shorter dorsal spine (2.5-4 times into the predorsal length, compared to 2.0-2.6 times in the Channel Catfish). Juveniles and females have many dark spots on a dark gray back and sides and are white below. Large males have a black back and sides and are gray below. 16-24 rakers on 1st gill arch, usually 11 pectoral fin rays. To 22 1/4 in. (57 cm) total length.

Range: The Yaqui Catfish occurs in the Rio Yaqui and Rio Casas Grandes drainages in northwestern Mexico and extreme southeastern Arizona. The species is rare and protected as a threatened species in the United States.

Habitat: The Yaqui Catfish lives in quiet water over sandy and rocky bottoms in small to medium rivers.

Similar species: See Channel Catfish, I. punctatus, and Headwater Catfish, I. lupus.

Yaqui Catfish map
Distribution Map