Family: Cyprinidae, Carps and Minnows view all from this family
Description The golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas) is a cyprinid fish native to eastern North America. It is the sole member of its genus. Much used as a bait fish, it is probably the most widely pond-cultured fish in the United States.
Though it has been known to reach lengths of 30 cm (12 in), in the wild the golden shiner is usually between 7.5 and 12.5 cm (3 to 5 inches) long. The body is laterally compressed (deep-bodied). The back is dark green or olive, and the belly is a silvery white. The sides are silver in smaller individuals, but golden in larger ones. There can be a faint dusky stripe along the sides. The anal fin is large and has 8-19 rays, while the dorsal fin comprises almost always 8 rays. Scales are relatively large and easily lost when the fish is handled. The mouth is small and upturned. Two characteristics can distinguish the golden shiner from all other minnows: (1) the lateral line has a pronounced downward curve, with its lowest point just above the pelvic fins; and (2) there is a fleshy keel lacking scales on the belly between the pelvic fins and the base of the anal fin.
Dimensions Up to 12" (30 cm).
Habitat Lakes & ponds, Rivers & streams.
Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest, Florida, Texas, Eastern Canada.