Notropis hudsonius
Notropis hudsonius
(Spottail Shiner)
Native Transplant
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Notropis hudsonius (Clinton, 1824)

Common name: Spottail Shiner

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994); Pflieger (1997); Gilbert (1998). Two distinct morphological forms are known (Gilbert 1998).

Size: 15 cm.

Native Range: Atlantic and Gulf Slope drainages from the Merrimack River to the Altamaha River, Georgia; Hudson Bay, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins from Ontario to Mackenzie River drainage (Arctic basin), Northwest Territories and Alberta, and south to northern Ohio, southern Illinois, and northeastern Montana (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 is known from Quincy and Lon Hagler reservoirs in the South Platte drainage, Colorado (Woodling 1985; Walker 1993; Rasmussen 1998); the upper Flint River drainage in Georgia (S. Ruessler, personal communication; museum specimen); the Snake River above and below the falls, and the Bear River in Idaho (Idaho Fish and Game 1990); lower Kennebec River, Maine (Kircheis 1994); several sites in the Missouri River drainage in Montana (Holton 1990); the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers in New Hampshire (where it may have been introduced) (Scarola 1973); the Allegheny Reservoir on the New York-Pennsylvania border and the Fulton Chain Lakes (Adirondacks), New York (Ichthyological Associates 1976; Cooper 1983; Whittier 2000); Lakes Oahe and Sakakawea on the Missouri River, and the mouth of Heart River, North Dakota (Owen et al. 1981; Cross et al. 1986); the Ohio and Allegheny drainages in Pennsylvania (Trautman 1981); Lake Oahe, South Dakota (Owen et al. 1981); Willard Bay and Utah Lake, Utah (Sigler and Sigler 1987; 1996); the New River drainage of Virginia (Hocutt et al. 1986; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994) and West Virginia (Hambrick et al. 1973; Hocutt et al. 1986; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994; Stauffer et al. 1995); and Wyoming (Stone 1995) including several reservoirs east of the Continental Divide in that state (Hubert 1994).

Trautman (1981) indicates the first specimens caught in the Ohio drainage were in 1926. Burr and Warren (1986) do not list this species in the Ohio River.  Although Stauffer, et al. (1995) list it as probably introduced in the Kanawha and Ohio drainages, because it is native nowhere else in the Ohio, we believe it is introduced.

Schmidt (1984) did not list this species as present in the Kennebec River, Maine.

Means of Introduction: Commonly stocked as a forage fish. According to Cooper (1983), the recent successful introduction of this species (and white bass Morone chrysops) into the Allegheny Reservoir in Warren County, Pennsylvania, possibly was derived from attempted introductions of the emerald shiner Notropis atherinoides into this reservoir from Lake Erie stocks. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) summarized the literature dealing with its spread in the New River drainage of Virginia and West Virginia. They speculated that it was introduced to the New drainage of Virginia, probably in Claytor Lake, either as bait, purposely for forage, or inadvertently along with sportfish stockings. After its discovery in Claytor Lake in the late 1940s, the species spread widely in the New River below Claytor Lake. The first West Virginia record is dated 1972 from the lower East River near the Virginia border. From there it spread into other parts of the New River drainage deeper in West Virginia. In Maine, the species was probably imported illegally as a baitfish; it was first observed in the state 1979 in the Cathance River, Kennebec River drainage (Kircheis 1994). It was stocked as a forage fish in Willard Bay, Utah, in 1982, and in Utah Lake in 1983 (Sigler and Sigler 1987). Specimens were taken from several locations in the upper Flint drainage, Georgia, in late 1997 (Ruessler, personal communication), these likely represent the result of a bait bucket introduction rather than from natural dispersal.

Status: Established, or presumably established, in Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming; reported from Colorado.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: Although this species has been recorded from the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River in Georgia (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Mettee et al. 1996), there are no records of this fish from the lower reaches of that river (Mettee et al. 1996). Consequently, it is very unlikely that Notropis hudsonius recently discovered in the upper Flint drainage were the result of individuals dispersing naturally downstream into Lake Seminole and up the Flint River. Jenkins et al. (1972) listed it as "probably or possibly introduced" to the Kanawha River drainage above the falls. Voucher specimens: Georgia (UF uncatalogued).

References: (click for full references)

Rasmussen, J.L. 1998. Aquatic nuisance species of the Mississippi River basin. 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Aquatic Nuisance Species Symposium, Dec. 7, 1998, Cincinnati, OH.

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: Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller

Revision Date: 3/5/2015

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller, 2018, Notropis hudsonius (Clinton, 1824): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 3/5/2015, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/20/2018

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 [1/20/2018].

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