The golden shiner is a prominent and widespread minnow of the Cyprinidae family. These ﬁsh are important forage species for predators and are widely used in various sizes as bait by anglers.
IdentificationThe golden shiner has a deep, compressed body that is generally golden yellow or brass colored in turbid water, varying to more silvery in clear water. The ﬁns are yellow green but become reddish in large spawning adults. The mouth is small and upturned with a slightly pointed snout, and there is a distinctive ﬂeshy, scaleless keel along the belly from the pelvic to the anal ﬁn.
The dusky lateral line of the golden shiner noticeably dips down in the middle of the body, and the caudal ﬁn is moderately forked. The color of the ﬁns is more pronounced during breeding season; the breeding male develops ﬁne tubercles on the dorsal surface of the head and the body. The golden shiner has 7 to 9 dorsal rays and 8 to 19 anal rays.