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 stramineus
Notropis stramineus
(Sand Shiner)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Notropis stramineus (Cope, 1865)

Common name: Sand Shiner

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Sublette et al. (1990); Page and Burr (1991); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994); Pflieger (1997); a commonly used synonym is Notropis ludibundus (Mayden and Gilbert 1989). The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZM) voted to conserve the name N. stramineus because it had been more widely used that the resurrected name of N. ludibundus (Poly 2004).

Size: 8.1 cm.

Native Range: Saint Lawrence-Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from St. Lawrence River, southern Quebec, to eastern Saskatchewan, and south to Tennessee and Texas; west to eastern Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico; Gulf Slope from Trinity River to Rio Grande, Texas, New Mexico, and 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 stramineus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AZ193819733Lower Colorado Region; Lower Little Colorado; Middle Little Colorado
CO194619937Colorado Headwaters; Colorado Headwaters-Plateau; Gunnison; Little Snake; Lower Dolores; Lower Yampa; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir
NY197719962Lower Hudson; Rondout
UT197019997Lower Dolores; Lower Green; Lower Green-Diamond; Lower Weber; Upper Colorado-Kane Springs; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Lake Powell
WY199419952Big Horn; Lower Wind

Table last updated 6/18/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: In Arizona, this species was reportedly stocked by accident along with shipments of largemouth bass from Dexter, New Mexico, in 1935, into East Clear Creek and perhaps Chevalon Creek (Minckley 1973). In his list of introduced fishes of Arizona and the lower Colorado River, Rinne (1995) reported it as an accidental introduction and gave the year as 1938. Although uncertain, it may have entered the Shawangunk Kill of New York via the Delaware-Hudson Canal system (Smith 1985). This species may have been introduced into other western states as a bait fish. It was introduced to Willard Bay Reservoir, Utah in 1982 (Sigler and Sigler 1987). The Sand Shiner was first collected in the upper Colorado basin (Dolores River) in 1971 (Holden and Stalnaker 1975a, 1975b). Based on its numbers and distribution, Holden and Stalnaker (1975b) suggested that this species had been present in the Colorado basin for several years, perhaps introduced as a baitfish, as it is common in the South Platte River system of eastern Colorado.

Status: Established in Arizona, Colorado, New York, Utah, and Wyoming.

Impact of Introduction: Largely unknown. This species was reported to be "a problem" in the Yampa River in Colorado (Whitmore 1997). Muth and Snyder (1995) showed that Sand Shiners had a low to moderate degree of dietary overlap with young-of-year Colorado squawfish Ptychocheilus lucius.

Remarks: Most references use the name Notropis stramineus for this species. According to Minckley (1973), it has been collected only once in Arizona, in 1955 in Navajo County. However, the species was observed in the mouth of Chevalon Creek, Arizona, in 1938 (Miller and Lowe 1967). Baxter and Simon (1970) stated that this species is known from Ocean Lake in the Bighorn drainage of Wyoming, where it may have been introduced. Tyus et al. (1982) gave a distribution map of this species in the upper Colorado basin. Schmidt (1986) listed this species as native but possibly introduced to the Hudson drainage. This species is commonly used as bait and also as a bioassay animal (Baxter and Simon 1970; Sigler and Sigler 1996).

References: (click for full references)

Baxter, G.T., and J.R. Simon. 1970. Wyoming fishes. Bulletin No. 4. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Cheyenne, WY.

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Madison Press Madison, WI. http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/EcoNatRes.FishesWI.

Gorges, M. 1994. Wyoming resident fish habitat management strategy. Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Office, Cheyenne, WY.

Holden, P.B., and C.B. Stalnaker. 1975a. Distribution of fishes in the Dolores and Yampa River systems of the upper Colorado basin. Southwestern Naturalist 19(4):403-412.

Holden, P.B., and C.B. Stalnaker. 1975b. Distribution and abundance of mainstream fishes of the middle and upper Colorado River basins, 1967-1973. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 104(2):217-231.

Mayden, R.L. and C.R. Gilbert. 1989. Notropis ludibundus (Girard) and Notropis tristis (Girard), replacement names for N. stramineus (Cope) and N. topeka (Gilbert) (Teleostei: Cypriniformes). Copeia 1989(4):1084-1089.

Miller, R.R., and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Part 2. Fishes of Arizona. Pages 133-151 in Lowe, C.H, ed. The vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press. Tuscon, AZ.

Minckley, W.L. 1973. Fishes of Arizona. Arizona Fish and Game Department Sims Printing Company, Inc, Phoenix, AZ.

Muth, R.T., and D.E. Snyder. 1995. Diets of young Colorado squawfish and other small fish in backwaters of the Green River, Colorado and Utah. Great Basin Naturalist 55(2):95-104.

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes - North America North of Mexico. Volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Pflieger, W.L. 1997. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, MO.

Poly, W.J. 2004. The Scientific names Notropis stramineus (Cope) and N. ludibundus (Girard). American Midland Naturalist. 151:164.

Rinne, J.N. 1995. The effects of introduced fishes on native fishes: Arizona, Southwestern United States. Pages 149-159 in Philipp, D.P., J.M. Epifano, J.E. Marsden, J.E. Claassen, and R.J. Wolotina, Jr, eds. Protection of aquatic diversity. Proceedings of the World Fisheries Congress, Theme 3. Oxford & IBH Publishing Company. New Delhi, India.

Schmidt, R.E. 1986. Zoogeography of the northern Appalachians. Pages 137-160 in Hocutt, C.H., and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons. New York, NY.

Sigler, W.F., and J.W. Sigler. 1987. Fishes of the Great Basin: a natural history. University of Nevada Press, Reno, NV.

Smith, C.L. 1985. The Inland Fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Albany, NY.

Sublette, J.E., M.D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The Fishes of New Mexico. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.

Tyus, H.M., B.D. Burdick, R.A. Valdez, C.M. Haynes, T.A. Lytle, and C.R. Berry. 1982. The fishes of the upper Colorado River basin: distribution, abundance, and status. Pages 12-70 in Miller, W.H., H.M. Tyus, and C.A. Carlson, eds. Fishes of the upper Colorado River system: present and future. Western Division, American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, MD.

Whitmore, S. 1997. Aquatic nuisance species in Region 6 of the Fish and Wildlife Service. US Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Mangement Assistance Office, Pierre, SD.

Woodling, J. 1985. Colorado's Little Fish: a guide to the minnows and other lesser known fishes in the state of Colorado. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver, CO.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 5/23/2019

Peer Review Date: 5/1/2013

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Notropis stramineus (Cope, 1865): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=600, Revision Date: 5/23/2019, Peer Review Date: 5/1/2013, Access Date: 6/18/2024

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 [6/18/2024].

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