Golden Shiner - Notemigonus crysoleucas
The golden shiner is an introduced species that has been stocked into ponds and has escaped into slow running streams and rivers east of the Continental Divide in Montana. It was probably introduced into our state as a forage fish or as the result of bait fishing. Pond culture of the golden shiner for bait is a moderately large industry in the south-central U.S. They can grow to lengths of about 8 inches. Golden shiners prefer habitat with abundant aquatic vegetation and eat plant as well as animal matter. They are easily caught on bait or artificial flies.
Adults golden; color fades rapidly when removed from water. Young silvery with dusky midside band. Body deep and flat-sided, front of dorsal fin well behind front of pelvic fins. Head small and triangular.
The golden shiner is native throughout the eastern half of North America, north to the St Lawrence River, Great Lakes, and Lake Winnipeg, and west to the Dakotas and Texas. Because of its use as bait, it has also been introduced in many places outside this native range.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Weedy ponds and lakes, slow moving streams.
Feeds largely on zooplankton. Aquatic insects and vegetation are also important. Larger individuals will eat snails and small fish.
Has been used as a forage fish in stocking programs. Female is generally larger than the male.
Sexually mature in 2 years. Spawns May - Aug. depending upon the temperature.
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