• Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows and Carps)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 3.5-5 inches, can reach 6 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates.
Spottail shiners have a rather large distinctive black spot at the base of the tail and a white leading edge to the lower lobe of the tail fin. The rest of the fins are transparent and lack any markings. The body of spottail shiners is very silvery in color. The dorsal fin is set rather far forward compared with most other shiners and is closer to the head than the tail. The rear edge of the dorsal and anal fins is concave and there are 8 rays in the anal fin. The mouth is slightly sub-terminal (ending below tip of snout) and the snout protrudes beyond the upper jaw.
Habitat and Habits
Spottail shiners are common throughout Lake Erie and can be found at depths from 3 to 60 feet. They are most often found over a substrate of sand or gravel. There were also a couple of specimens found in the Portage Lakes in the early 1900's but none in recent times. They can also be found in the lower reaches of some of the larger tributaries of Lake Erie such as the Sandusky, Maumee, and Grand Rivers. Additionally they have been introduce (likely by released bait obtained from Lake Erie) and become established in several large reservoirs in northeast Ohio in the Mahoning/Beaver River drainage, most notably Pymatuning Lake.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Spottail shiners spawn in May or June and possibly spawn multiple times throughout the summer. However, very little information is available concerning location and behavior of spawning.