• Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows and Carps)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 3-4 inches, can reach 5 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates, and terrestrial insects that fall in the water or fly just above the surface.
Silver shiners are a rather long narrow minnow with bright silvery sides. The width and height of the body are nearly equal making them nearly cylindrical in body shape. The front of the dorsal fin is position directly above or only slightly behind the front of the pelvic fins. All of the fins are transparent or white with no spots or other distinctive markings. Silver shiners have a dark stripe down the center of the back and two dark crescent shaped markings between the nostrils. The closely related and similar appearing emerald shiner has a smaller eye, a body that is taller than it is wide, no dark crescents between the nostrils, and only a faint stripe down the center of the back.
Habitat and Habits
Silver shiners are found in moderate to large streams and rivers in both the Lake Erie and Ohio River drainage systems in Ohio. They are more common in the Ohio River drainage and are most often found in moderate to high gradient streams that stay relatively clear most of the year. They are typically found in or at the tail end of deep swift riffles of cobble and boulders.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Silver shiners spawn in June or July by scattering their eggs over gravel riffles. No parental care is given.