Notemigonus crysoleucas
Notemigonus crysoleucas
(Golden Shiner)
Native Transplant
Translate this page with Google
Français Deutsch Español Português Russian Italiano Japanese

Copyright Info
Notemigonus crysoleucas (Mitchill, 1814)

Common name: Golden Shiner

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Moyle (2002); Becker (1983); Robison and Buchanan (1988); Page and Burr (1991); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).

Size: 30 cm.

Native Range: Atlantic and Gulf Slope drainages from Nova Scotia to southern Texas; Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins west to Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, and western Oklahoma (Page and Burr 1991).

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Hawaii auto-generated map
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: This species has been introduced into nonnative areas of the following states: Arizona (Miller 1952; La Rivers 1962; Minckley 1973; USFWS 2005); Arkansas (Robison and Buchanan 1988); California (Hubbs 1919; Miller 1952; McKechnie 1966a; Moyle 2002; Moyle and Daniels 1982; Dill and Cordone 1997; Tilmant 1999; Sommer et al. 2001; Matern et al 2002); Colorado (Wiltzius 1981; Woodling 1985; Propst and Carlson 1986; Rasmussen 1998); Florida (Swift et al. 1977); Iowa (Harlan et al. 1987); Kansas (Tilmant 1999); Kentucky (Burr and Warren 1986); Maine (Halliwell 2003); Minnesota (Eddy and Underhill 1974); Montana (Brown 1971; Cross et al. 1986; Holton 1990); North Carolina (Menhinick 1991); Nebraska (Bouc 1987); New Mexico (Sublette et al. 1990); Nevada (Bradley and Deacon 1967; Miller 1952; La Rivers 1962; Minckley and McNatt 1974; Deacon and Williams 1984; Vinyard 2001; Courtenay et al 1983); New York (possibly not native to Adirondacks) (George 1981; Smith 1985; Whittier 2000; Kelly 2001); Ohio (Trautman 1981); Oregon (Bond 1994); South Dakota (Bailey and Allum 1962; Cross et al. 1986); Tennessee (Kuhne 1939); Texas (Howells and Prentice 1991); Utah (Minckley 1973; Sigler and Sigler 1987, 1996); Virginia (Hocutt et al. 1986; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994); West Virginia (Hocutt et al. 1986; Stauffer et al. 1995); and Wyoming (Baxter and Simon 1970; Cross et al. 1986; Stone 1995).

Means of Introduction: The Golden Shiner is widely used as bait and as an ornamental and therefore has been transplanted into many areas, including parks in the United States (e.g., Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; LoVullo and Stauffer 1993). According to Swift et al. (1993), the Golden Shiner arrived in San Diego County, California, in 1891 and quickly became widespread. Dill and Cordone (1997) stated this species was planted in parts of California as forage by the California Fish Commission during the late 1890s. It is the most commonly used bait fish in many regions, for instance California (Dill and Cordone 1997) and the Midwest (Burr, personal communication). Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) and Pflieger (1997) also noted that many populations probably became established through bait bucket introductions. The Golden Shiner has been stocked in the Great Basin as a forage fish (Sigler and Sigler 1987). According to Jenkins and Burkhead (1994), it has been sparingly introduced to the New River drainage (earliest records: North Carolina 1949; Virginia 1971; West Virginia 1970). These researchers also noted that the earliest record of this species in the Virginia portion of the upper Tennessee drainage was 1966. That record was from a site near a hatchery that used this species as forage.

Status: Established in all states listed above.

Impact of Introduction: According to Moyle (2002), this species is widely introduced throughout California with unknown effects on native species. Eradication programs were reported as common in California (Sigler and Sigler 1996).

A study by Shao (1997) showed that Golden Shiners that used brood nests made by Lepomis gibbosus resulted in reduced hatching success of L. gibbosus due to fungal infection from the presence of Golden Shiners. The reduced hatching success was offset by reduced predation on L. gibbosus eggs due to the presence of Golden Shiner eggs.

Remarks: This species is similar in appearance to the rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus, a European species that has been introduced into the United States. The two readily hybridize in laboratory conditions (Burkhead and Williams 1991). Dill and Cordone (1997) detailed the introduction history of this species in California. They speculated that some of the "minnows" used as food for fish being transported by the U.S. Fish Commission in the late 1800s may have been Golden Shiners. There is some debate concerning the native versus nonnative distribution of this species in the eastern United States. For example, Etnier and Starnes (1993) stated that this species was probably rare or absent from east and middle Tennessee before reservoir construction, but later became established in larger waters of these areas as a result of bait bucket introductions or expansion of "once-scattered populations." Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) noted that the species is probably more prevalent in Virginia than their distribution maps show because their data included few samples from farm ponds, habitats where the species has often been introduced. They also stated that most records from the Blue Ridge and Valley and Ridge in Virginia probably are of introductions. Sigler and Sigler (1996) stated that introduced Golden Shiners in Utah Lake, Utah, are barely maintaining population levels. In their analysis of fish zoogeography, Hocutt et al. (1986) listed this species as "introduced but possibly native" for an Appalachian drainage, the Kanawha River above the falls.

References: (click for full references)

Bradley, W. G. and J. E. Deacon. 1967. The biotic Communities of southern Nevada. Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers No. 13, Part 4. 201-273.

Halliwell, D.B. 2003. Introduced Fish in Maine. MABP series: Focus on Freshwater Biodiversity. Available online at URL

Hocutt, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986.  Zoogeography of the Fishes of the Central Appalachians and Central Atlantic Coastal Plain. In C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes.  John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, 161-212.

Kelly, J. M. 2001. Bait-bucket biology. Post Standard, Syracuse, NY. June 28, 2001.

Miller, R.R. 1952. Bait fishes of the lower Colorado River, from Lake Mead, Nevada, to Yuma, Arizona, with a key for identification. California Fish and Game. 38: 7-42.

Moyle, P.B. 2002. Inland Fishes of California. University of California Press, London, England, 164-166.

Shao, B. 1997. Effects of golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas) nest association on host pumpkinseeds (Lepomis gibbosus): evidence for a non-parasitic relationship. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 41(6): 399-406.

Sommer, T, B. Harrell, M. Nobriga, R. Brown, P. Moyle, W. Kimmerer, and L. Schemel. 2001. California's Yolo Bypass: Evidence that flood control can be compatible with fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and agriculture. Fisheries. American Fisheries Society. 26 (8): 6-16.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

Vinyard, G.L. 2001. Fish Species Recorded from Nevada. Biological Resources Research Center. University of Nevada, Reno. 5 pp.

Whittier, T. R., D. B. Halliwell and R. A. Daniels. 2000. Distributions of lake fishes in the Northeast - II. The Minnows (Cyprinidae). Northeastern Naturalist. 7(2): 3- 131-156.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Nico, L.

Revision Date: 9/16/2011

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Nico, L., 2018, Notemigonus crysoleucas (Mitchill, 1814): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 9/16/2011, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/19/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logoU.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Pam Fuller - NAS Program (
Page Last Modified: Thursday, December 21, 2017


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/19/2018].

Additional information for authors