• Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows and Carps)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 1.5-2.5 inches, can reach 3 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates.
Channel shiners are a small silvery minnow and usually have 8 anal rays that are rather thin and frail. They have a faint stripe along the sides that is more visible when they are caught from clear water. They lack or have a very poorly defined stripe down the back. The fins are transparent with no dark markings. The scales along the lateral line just behind the head are about 2.5 times higher than their width. Channel shiners are more robust and have a less defined stripe along their sides than mimic shiners. Ghost shiners have extremely tall scales along the lateral line behind the head, longer fins, and little to no dark pigment anywhere on the body. Sand shiners usually have 7 instead of 8 anal rays and a distinct stripe down the center of the back.
Habitat and Habits
Channel shiners are found only in very large rivers, around the mouth of tributaries to those large rivers, or just a few miles up larger tributaries. They are typically found in open waters over sand and gravel bars in areas with little current. In Ohio they are only found in the Ohio River and around the mouths of tributaries to the Ohio River. This species is found only in the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and some of their largest tributaries such as the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Channel shiners spawn in late spring and early summer scattering eggs over a sand or gravel substrate. No parental care is given.