Silver Shiner

Notropis photogenis

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 Silver Shiner (Notropis photogenis) is a relatively large minnow that belongs to the carp and minnow family, Cyprinidae. It has the following characteristics:

  • Long, slender body;
  • Large eyes;
  • Snout is long and pointed, often with two black crescents between the nostrils;
  • Silver in colour with some blue or green iridescence;
  • Dark, narrow stripe along the middle of the back;
  • Anal fin has more than eight rays;
  • Dorsal fin is nearly directly above the base of the pelvic fins;
  • Spawning males develop tubercles; and
  • Maximum length is about 14 cm.

Habitat

The Silver Shiner occurs only in North America. It is found predominantly in the Ohio and Tennessee river drainages, which include 12 states in the east central United States. In Canada, the Silver Shiner is found only in southwestern Ontario, the northern limit of its distribution. This very limited area includes the Thames River, Grand River, Bronte Creek and possibly the Saugeen River and Sixteen Mile Creek, although additional surveys are required to confirm this.

The Silver Shiner is found in deep riffles or pools in medium-to-large streams with moderate to high gradients. Their preferred substrates are variable ranging from coarse boulders, gravel and pebbles, to finer sand, mud and clay. Silver Shiner are generally mature by 6 cm and spawn by age two. Spawning occurs in deep riffle areas in the late spring when water temperatures reach between 18 and 24ºC. The known lifespan is roughly three years, but is believed to be nearer to five years.

Threats

Threats to the Silver Shiner in Canada are poorly understood, but likely include both natural and anthropogenic factors. Water temperature is an important limiting factor, since it is at the northern limit of its distribution. In addition, agricultural and urban activities that contribute to habitat and water quality degradation, such as increased turbidity and sedimentation, contaminants, and excess nutrients, may also pose a threat to this fish. Additional threats may include dams, bait harvesting and introduced species.

Further Information

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

Silver Shiner

Image of a Silver Shiner

Silver Shiner

Scientific name: Notropis photogenis
SARA Status: Special Concern
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
Region: Central and Arctic

Distribution of the Silver Shiner in Canada

Distribution of the Silver Shiner in Canada.

Did You Know?

The Rosyface Shiner and Emerald Shiner resemble the Silver Shiner, but they lack the pair of crescents between the nostrils, have a wider, more diffuse stripe down the back, and have a dorsal fin that starts farther back on the body.

Image of a Silver Shiner

Silver Shiner

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