Golden Shiner - Notemigonus crysoleucas

Golden Shiner - Photo credit: Bill Byrne, MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Habitat requirements and life history: The golden shiner (2.5 to 11.8 inches) is a native fish that prefers clean, slow, vegetated water with access to extensive, soft-bottomed shallows. They are common in lake and ponds and sluggish sections of rivers and streams. It is an active fish that swims in a loose school off the bottom. They feed from midwater to the surface on adult and immature states of cladocerans, midges, dragonflies, beetles, and water mites, and filamentous algae and mollusks. The golden shiner begins to spawn when the water temperature reaches the high 60s and continues through late summer. The eggs are scattered over filamentous or rooted aquatic plants and abandoned. The golden shiner is a very popular baitfish as it is the natural prey of basses, pickerels and sunfish. (Sources: Freshwater Fishes of Canada and Freshwater Fishes of the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, & Delaware, Atlas of North American freshwater fishes)

Total length: 8-9 inches (up to 12 inches)
Pollution tolerance (US EPA): Tolerant
Classification: Macrohabitat generalist

Number of fish found during 1954 & 2001 fish surveys:*

Location No. of Fish 1954 No. of Fish 2001
Assabet River 179 78
Fort Meadow Brook 2  
Mill Brook   10
Nashoba Brook   2
Hob Brook   1
Spencer Brook 5 5
UNT Assabet River   3
Total 186 99

DFW. 2001. Assabet Watershed Fish Survey. Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), Westborough, MA.

Schlotterbeck, L.C. and W.A. Tompkins. 1954. "A Fisheries Investigation of the Merrimack and Ipswich River Drainages." Bureau of Wildlife Research and Management, Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA.