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Arkansas River Shiner

Photo by Garold Sneegas

Arkansas River Shiner

Notropis girardi

Federal Status: Threatened

State Status: Endangered


Dark Blue = Designated critical habitat
Light Blue = Historical records

Comments: This small minnow only occurs in the Arkansas River and its tributaries where it inhabits wide, shallow, sandy rivers and streams. This fish will reach about 2.5 inches in length and has a dark, chevronshaped spot at the base of the tail. It utilizes the downstream side of the flow-formed sand ridges and faces upstream to feed on food items carried by the current. Spawning occurs during high summer flows and increased water turbidity. Due to dewatering and managed flow rates, this species is estimated to have disappeared from 80 percent of its original range. There have only been a few collections of the Arkansas River shiner in Kansas since the 1980s. It might still occur in Kansas in the Cimarron River.