The bacterium Edwardsiella ictaluri is considered to be one of the most significant pathogens of farmed catfish in the United States of America and has also caused mortalities in farmed and wild fishes in many other parts of the world. E. ictaluri is not believed to be present in wild fish populations in Australia, although it has previously been detected in imported ornamental fishes held in quarantine facilities. In an attempt to confirm freedom from the bacterium in Australian native fishes, we undertook a risk-based survey of wild catfishes from 15 sites across northern Australia. E. ictaluri was detected by selective culturing, followed by DNA testing, in Wet Tropics tandan (Tandanus tropicanus) from the Tully River, at a prevalence of 0.40 (95% CI 0.21–0.61). The bacterium was not found in fishes sampled from any of the other 14 sites. This is the first report of E. ictaluri in wild fishes in Australia.