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 atherinoides
Notropis atherinoides
(Emerald Shiner)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
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).

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 atherinoides are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CO200920091Cache La Poudre
CT198619862Housatonic; Outlet Connecticut River
ME197519751New England Region
MD199819981North Branch Potomac
MA199220052Ashuelot River-Connecticut River; New England Region
MT199919991Big Horn Lake
NE198719872Lower North Platte; Missouri Region
NY196819962Chenango; Lower Hudson
UT198319962Lower Weber; Utah Lake
WV199319982Middle New; North Branch Potomac
WY198519954Big Horn; Clear; North Platte; Pathfinder-Seminoe Reservoirs

Table last updated 6/23/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: In its native range in the Upper Niagra River, Notropis atherinoides juveniles are more often found in natural habitat (e.g. marshes) than developed habitat (e.g. seawalls; Cochran 2017). Cochran (2017) also found that larvae recruited to sampling gear in July and August. This species is a key forage species in its native range (Cochran 2017).

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: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

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. This species was found in the Au Sable River in Michigan in 1931, but does not survive to reproduction in most of the inland waters of Michigan (Hubbs 1931). 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)

Cochran, J.L. 2017. Ecology of the Young-of-the-Year Emerald Shiner (Notropis atherinoides) in the Upper Niagara River, New York: Growth, Diversity, and Importance as a Forage Species. Unpublished M.A. thesis. State University of New York College at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

Colorado Division of Wildlife. 2010 . Fishery Survey Summaries - Horsetooth Reservoir http://wildlife.state.co.us/NR/rdonlyres/66A1D75B-BCF7-4D51-9A72-4CDDBB623D6D/0/Horsetooth09.pdf

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.

Hubbs, C.L. 1931. Identification of lake shiners in Au Sable River, Iosco County, and desirability of planting same in Hubbard and other lakes. (Fisheries research report: 108). Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ann Arbor, MI. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/f/fishery/AAG2862.0108.001?rgn=main;view=fulltext.

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: 12/2/2019

Peer Review Date: 5/17/2010

Citation Information:
Nico, L., 2024, Notropis atherinoides Rafinesque, 1818: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=582, Revision Date: 12/2/2019, Peer Review Date: 5/17/2010, Access Date: 6/23/2024

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.


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/23/2024].

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