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Banded Darter

Banded darter


Back and upper sides mottled olive-brown with 6 - 7 dark brown cross bars, sides covered with dark green bars with yellow-white belly, dusky bar beneath the eye and another extending forward from onto snout.


Banded darter Distribution

Widespread distribution in rivers and large creeks in Iowa but not abundant.


No diet is know for this fish.

State Record

Grows to 2 1/4 in. State Records are not documented for non-game species.

Expert Tip


Within the Misissippi River system the banded darter occurs from the Verdign`s River in Kansas eastward to the upper Allegheny River basin in New York and from the Minnesota River south to the Fall Line. The banded darter remains relatively common throughout most of its range. However, populations on the margin of its range, particularly to the west, appear in jeopardy.

In Iowa, this colorful species inhabits the rocky riffles of the upper reaches of our major interior streams, such as the Cedar and Maquoketa rivers. It attains greatest abundance in smaller streams and creeks feeding these rivers. 

The banded darter typically lives in rivers and large creeks with moderate gradient. Substrates of coarse gravel to rubble are preferred. Very little is known concerning life habits of the species.


Present in these Iowa water bodies:

Lake/Stream County Location Acres/Length
Waterloo Creek Allamakee Streams runs through Dorchester along Waterloo Creek Drive and Highway 76. 10.50
Trout Run Winneshiek Located on the south side of Decorah off Trout Run Road. 2.20
Bear Creek Fayette Located 6 miles southeast of Fayette off of Kornhill Road or CR C24. Access from 128th Street. 1.20
Baileys Ford Delaware 3 miles southeast of Manchester - follow signage from Jefferson Road. 0.60