The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Notropis girardi
Notropis girardi
(Arkansas River Shiner)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Notropis girardi Hubbs and Ortenburger, 1929

Common name: Arkansas River Shiner

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Robison and Buchanan (1988); Sublette et al. (1990); Page and Burr (1991). Maximum size: 8 cm.

Native Range: Arkansas River drainage from western Arkansas to western Kansas, western Oklahoma, Texas panhandle, and northeastern New Mexico (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Notropis girardi are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AR195619561Middle White
NM197819903Upper Pecos; Upper Pecos-Black; Upper Pecos-Long Arroyo
OK196419972Lake Texoma; Middle Washita

Table last updated 6/21/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: According to Bestgen et al. (1989), introduction of Notropis girardi into the Pecos River probably resulted from release of baitfish by anglers below Sumner Dam in 1978. Its use as a bait fish may have been inadvertent, for it was speculated that the species may have been included in a bait shipment of plains minnow, Hybognathus placitus. The initial stock is unknown, but it may have come from the nearby Canadian River drainage. From the presumed point of introduction, the species dispersed downstream at least 260 km by the late 1981 and was common in collections made in the river in 1986-1987. However, Bestgen et al. (1989) admitted that dispersal may have been aided by multiple introductions throughout the Pecos River. Cross (1970) presumed that the species gained access to the Red River in Oklahoma by way of human introduction. However, he could not rule out natural transfer from the South Canadian River (Arkansas drainage) to the adjacent Washita drainage.

Status: Established in New Mexico; reported from Oklahoma outside its native range.

Impact of Introduction: The population in the Pecos River may be posing a problem for the survival of the endemic bluntnose shiner Notropis simus pecosensis (Gilbert, personal communication).

Remarks: Bestgen et al. (1989) discussed the dispersal of this species in the Pecos River. The Pecos River serves as a reservoir for Notropis girardi since this species has been displaced throughout much of its native range by the Red River shiner Notropis bairdi (Gilbert, personal communication). Lee et al. (1980 et seq.) noted that the specimen taken from Washita Creek, Oklahoma, presumably represented an introduction. In their table summarizing the distribution of fishes in the western Mississippi Basin, Cross et al. (1986) regarded it as introduced to the upper Red River drainage. The Arkansas River basin population of Notropis girardi was listed as a threatened species in 1998 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1998).

References: (click for full references)

Bestgen, K.R., S.P. Platania, J.E. Brooks, and D.L. Propst. 1989. Dispersal and life history traits of Notropis girardi (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae), introduced into the Pecos River, New Mexico. American Midland Naturalist 122:228-235.

Cross, F.B. 1970. Occurrences of the Arkansas River shiner, Notropis girardi Hubbs and Ortenburger, in the Red River system. The Southwestern Naturalist 14:370.

Cross, F.B., R.L. Mayden, and J.D. Stewart. 1986. Fishes in the western Mississippi basin (Missouri, Arkansas, and Red Rivers). 363-412 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Lee, D.S., C.R. Gilbert, C.H. Hocutt, R.E. Jenkins, D.E. McAllister, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, NC.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Guide Series, vol. 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Robison, H.W., and T.M. Buchanan. 1998. Fishes of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, AR.

Sublette, J.E., M.D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1998. Final rule to list the Arkansas River basin population of the Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi) as threatened. Federal Register 63(225):64777-64799.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 8/23/2012

Peer Review Date: 8/23/2012

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Notropis girardi Hubbs and Ortenburger, 1929: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=594, Revision Date: 8/23/2012, Peer Review Date: 8/23/2012, Access Date: 6/21/2024

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.


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. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/21/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.