Latin name

Notemigonus crysoleucas

Other names

Roach, shad roach, shiner, pond shiner.


The golden shiner has a deep, compressed body that is usually a golden yellow or brassy color in murky water, becoming more silvery in clear water. Fins are yellow-green, but reddish in large spawning adults. The mouth is small and upturned, the snout is slightly pointed, and a characteristic fleshy, unscaled keel runs along the belly from the pelvic to the anal fin. The dusky lateral line dips distinctly down the middle of the body, and the caudal fin is moderately forked. The coloration of the fins is more pronounced during the breeding season. The breeding male has small tubercles on the dorsal surface of the head and body. The goldfin has 7 to 9 dorsal rays and 8 to 19 anal rays.


This species is widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains in the central and eastern United States, from Quebec to Saskatchewan in the north and Florida, Texas, and Mexico in the south. It has been introduced into other states, including Arizona, California, and Washington.


Slow-water fish, common in lakes, ponds, backwaters and slow-moving sections of streams, small and medium-sized rivers. They are often found in weedy, clear, still and shallow waters.


Golden shiners can grow to 101⁄2 to 12 inches in length, although the average size varies depending on the environment. Smaller fish, 3 to 5 inches, are found in northern waters. These fish can live up to 10 years.

Life history and Behavior

Golden shiners reach sexual maturity in their second year, when they are usually 21⁄2 to 31⁄2 inches long, and spawn over a long period beginning in the spring when water temperatures exceed 68°F. They do not prepare nests like many other shiners and minnows, but scatter gummy eggs over algae and other aquatic vegetation and show no parental care.

Food and feeding habits

Golden shiners feed on plankton, algae, insects and small fish. They feed in the middle layers of the water, at or near the surface.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Cypriniformes
Family Cyprinidae
Genus Notemigonus
Species N. crysoleucas
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 10
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 30
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Shiner, Golden

Tags: Shiner, Golden