Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Oklahoma
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Oklahoma Project

Assessing Distribution of Yaqui Catfish in the Rio Yaqui Drainage, US-Mexico

March 2018 - December 2021


Participating Agencies

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 2 Division of Biological Sciences

Yaqui Catfish is a federally-threatened species, extirpated from in its native range in the wild in the US, and threatened in the remainder of its range in the Yaqui, Mayo, and Fuerte river basins of Mexico. The Rio Yaqui drainage basin is the largest of the three basins and is the only shared basin between the two countries where Yaqui Catfish occur. A major threat to Yaqui Catfish is hybridization with non-native Ictalurid species, particularly Channel Catfish , that have been stocked. Using existing data and surveys of eDNA samples, occurrences of Yaqui Catfish and non-native Channel Catfish will be overlaid on GIS coverages of hydrology, physiography, and land-use available from US and Mexico sources and modeled for relationships using occupancy models.

Research Publications Publication Date
Stewart, D.R., T. Hafen, D.A. Hendrickson, A.T. Taylor, A. Varela-Romero, D.H. Mason, J.C. Dysthe, T.W. Franklin, M.K. Young, K.S. McKelvey, M.K. Schwartz, and J.M. Long. 2024. Development and application of environmental DNA (eDNA) markers to assess factors affecting occupancy of the endangered Yaqui Catfish and non-native Channel Catfish in the Yaqui River basin, Mexico. Endangered Species Research 53:569-586. April 2024
Hafen, T., A.T. Taylor, D.A. Hendrickson, D.R. Stewart, and J.M. Long. 2021. Environmental conditions associated with occurrences of the threatened Yaqui Catfish in the Yaqui River basin, Mexico. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 41(S1): S54-S63. DOI: 10.1002/nafm.10653 July 2021