Bridle Shiner

Notropis bifrenatus

SARA Status
No Status
NS
Special Concern
SC
Threatened
TH
Endangered
EN
Extirpated
EX

SARA Status

  • No Status NS
  • Special Concern SC
  • Threatened TH
  • Endangered EN
  • Extirpated EX
COSEWIC Status
Not at Risk
NR
Special Concern
SC
Threatened
TH
Endangered
EN
Extirpated
EX

COSEWIC Status

  • Not at Risk NR
  • Special Concern SC
  • Threatened TH
  • Endangered EN
  • Extirpated EX

Description

The Bridle Shiner is a small minnow with a slender, somewhat laterally compressed body, whose length seldom exceeds 60 mm. It has a small terminal mouth, and its upper jaw extends back to the lower edge of the eye. Mature individuals have a straw-coloured dorsal surface, and silvery sides with a green-blue iridescence, as well as a silvery-white ventral surface. A black lateral band extends from the snout to the tail. The Bridle Shiner lives for only two years and spawns only once, in its first or second year. It is sexually dimorphic (difference between males and females) during the breeding season which occurs in the spring and the summer. During this period, males turn a bright yellow or gold on the lower sides, and the first five or six pectoral rays become edged with brown.

Habitat

In Canada, Bridle Shiners occupy streams and lakes where there is plenty of aquatic vegetation. There, they can feed, hide from predators and spawn. They prefer substrates of sand, silt or organic debris, and thrive in water that is relatively warm and clear.

Historic and current Bridle Shiner sites in Quebec

Historic and current Bridle Shiner sites in Quebec.
Gilles Fortin, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Bridle Shiner distribution in Ontario

Bridle Shiner distribution in Ontario.
Carolyn Bakelaar and Brydon MacVeigh, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Threats

A number of anthropogenic activities (e.g., farming, urban development, forestry and recreational use) can cause the loss or degradation of Bridle Shiner habitat. Some of the main threats to the habitat of this species at risk are:

  • reduced water quality due to pollution (e.g., chemicals, sedimentation and fertilizers),
  • the removal or degradation of aquatic and riparian vegetation,
  • fluctuating water levels, and
  • the disruption of natural water flow patterns, or barriers to fish passage.

In addition, the use of the Bridle Shiner as a baitfish by recreational fishers can also constitute a threat to this species and hinder its conservation.

Further Information

The Bridle Shiner is protected by the Species at Risk Act since June 2004. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in cooperation with the governments of Ontario and Quebec, has developed a management plan to help protect the Bridle Shiner. Published in June 2011, this plan provides a summary of current knowledge, identifies threats to the species and its habitat and recommends measures to maintain and improve Bridle Shiner populations.

For further information, visit the Species at Risk (SARA) Public Registry Profile.

Bridle Shiner

Bridle Shiner

Bernatchez L, Giroux M. 2000. Les Poissons d'eau douce du Québec et leur répartition dans l'est du Canada. Éditions Broquet. 350p

Scientific name: Notropis bifrenatus
SARA Status: Special Concern
COSEWIC Status: Special Concern (November 2001)
Region: Quebec, Ontario

Did You Know?

A management plan for the Bridle Shiner was published in June 2011. It provides a summary of current knowledge, identifies threats to the species and its habitat and recommends measures to maintain and improve Bridle Shiner populations.

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