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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Sand Shiner - Notropis stramineus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4


Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:



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General Description
The smallest of the shiners in Montana is the sand shiner. This species is native to the plains area of eastern Montana, where it lives in schools, primarily in clear streams with sandy bottoms. It attains a length of about 3 inches and so is too small to be used much as a bait minnow. The sand shiner is one of our least known minnow species.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Back light olive, sides silvery (sometimes with bluish purple sheen), underside white. A thin black stripe along midline of back expands into a wedge at front of dorsal fin. Black dashes on lateral line scale may be faint on fish from turbid water. Eye large. Body somewhat flat sided but not deep.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions

Native

Western Hemisphere Range

 


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1034

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Streams both large and small, with clear water, rapid current, and sand or gravel bottom; also sandy shallows of lakes. Southeast Montana study showed widest distributions at mouth sections of study streams.

Food Habits
Food consists largely of small aquatic insects and crustaceans and finely divided detritus.

Ecology
Among the smallest Montana fishes.

Reproductive Characteristics
Sexually mature at 1 yr. Spawns May - Aug. with late July - Aug. peak.

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Barfoot, C.A. 1993. Longitudinal distribution of fishes and habitat in Little Beaver Creek, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 66 p.
    • Barfoot, C.A. and R.G. White. 1999. Fish assemblages and habitat relationships in a small northern Great Plains stream. The Prairie Naturalist 31(2):87-107.
    • Duncan, M.B. 2019. Distributions, abundances, and movements of small, nongame fishes in a large Great Plains river network. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 255 p.
    • Hendricks, P., S. Lenard, D.M. Stagliano, and B.A. Maxell. 2013. Baseline nongame wildlife surveys on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Report to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 83 p.
    • Mullen, J.A. 2007. Spatiotemporal variation of fish assemblages in Montana prairie streams. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 102 p.
    • Mullins, M.S. 1991. Biology and predator use of cisco (Coregonus artedi) in Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 68 p.
    • Rosenthal, L.R. 2007. Evaluation of distribution and fish passage in relation to road culverts in two eastern Montana prairie streams. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 78 p.
    • Stringer, A.L. 2018. Status of Northern Pearl Dace and chrosomid dace in prairie streams of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 150 p.
    • Wuellner, M.R. 2007. Influence of reach and watershed characteristics on fish distributions in small streams of eastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 80 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Sand Shiner — Notropis stramineus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from