Notropis atherinoides
Notropis atherinoides
(Emerald Shiner)
Native Transplant
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Notropis atherinoides Rafinesque, 1818

Common name: Emerald Shiner

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Robison and Buchanan (1988); Page and Burr (1991); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994); Pflieger (1997).

Size: 13 cm.

Native Range: St. Lawrence drainage, Quebec; Hudson River drainage, New York to Mackenzie River drainage (Arctic basin), Northwest Territories, and south through Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins to Gulf; Gulf Slope drainages from Mobile Bay, Alabama, to Galveston Bay, Texas (Page and Burr 1991).
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Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: This species has been collected in the Horsetooth Reservoir in Colorado (Colorado Division of Wildlife) and the Houatonic and Connecticut Rivers in Connecticut (Schmidt 1986).  This species is known from several sites in central and southern Maine (Kircheis 1994); Jennings Randolph Reservoir in Maryland (J. Christmas, personal communication), and several large impoundments in Massachusetts (Hartel 1992; Hartel et al. 1996) such as Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge (USFWS 2005). Although it is native to most of eastern Nebraska, the species has been stocked in western parts of the state, such as Lake McConaughy (Bouc 1987). It is known from Lebanon and Erieville reservoirs (Susquehanna River drainage), New York (Snelson 1968; Smith 1985; Hocutt et al. 1986), and from Willard Bay Reservoir, Utah (Sigler and Sigler 1987, 1996). In West Virginia, it is considered native but may have been introduced into the Kanawha drainage above the falls (Stauffer et al. 1995). It has been introduced into Wyoming (Stone 1995) including many reservoirs east of the Continental Divide in that state (Hubert 1994).

Means of Introduction: This species was stocked as forage in Jennings Randolph Reservoir, Maryland (Christmas, personal communicaton), Lake McConaughy, Nebraska (Bouc 1987), and in certain Wyoming reservoirs (Hubert 1994). Its presence in two reservoirs in New York may be due either to bait bucket releases or to movement through the Old Chenango Canal (Snelson 1968; Smith 1985). Snelson (1968) also hypothesized that the widespread occurrence of this species in the Mohawk-Hudson system of New York may have been a result of dispersal through the Erie Canal system. If records from West Virginia represent introductions, the method of entry was likely by way of bait bucket releases. The species probably was brought to Maine illegally as a baitfish; however, information on the location and exact date of its first occurrence in the state has been lost (Kircheis 1994). It was introduced into Willard Bay Reservoir in Utah in 1983 (Sigler and Sigler 1987). The Emerald Shiner has been stocked for forage in many Colorado reservoirs (Colorado Division of Wildlife). 

Status: Introduced populations considered established in Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: According to Hartel et al. (1996), the Massachusetts specimens have never been examined by specialists. However, this species is sold in bait stores in that state (Hartel 1992; Hartel et al. 1996). Schmidt (1986) listed this species as introduced into the Housatonic and Connecticut drainages, probably in the Massachusetts portion of these waters. Hocutt et al. (1986) regarded it as "introduced, but possibly native" for the Susquehanna River drainage. In their summary table of West Virginia fishes, Stauffer et al. (1995) regarded this species as "native but possibly introduced" for the Kanawha above the falls. Pflieger (1997) noted that the progressive and dramatic increase in abundance of this sight-feeding minnow in the Missouri River (part of its native range) was the result of decreases in turbidity and other factors relating to the construction of upstream reservoirs.

References: (click for full references)

Colorado Division of Wildlife. 2010 . Fishery Survey Summaries - Horsetooth Reservoir

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. 161-212.

Schmidt, R. E. 1986. 1986. Zoogeography of the Northern Appalachians. In C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes. 137-160.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Nico, L.

Revision Date: 5/17/2010

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Nico, L., 2018, Notropis atherinoides Rafinesque, 1818: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 5/17/2010, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/23/2018

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.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/23/2018].

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