Redfin shiner

Redfin shiner


Terete and strongly compressed laterally. The back is bluish-silvery with more silver on the sides, and white beneath. Spawning males become bright steel-blue on the back, fins redden, and tubercles develop on the head. There is a prominent black spot at the frontal base of the dorsal fin which extends into the first few rays. A terminal mouth is slightly oblique and no barbel is present. Hooked pharyngeal teeth on slender arches are arranged in a formula of 2, 4-4, 2. The complete lateral line may have 40 to 48 scales, and it is strongly de-curved. Dorsal and pelvic fins have 8 rays, while the pectoral fins has 12 or 13 rays, and the anal fin has 11 rays.


Redfin shiner Distribution

Limited to northeast Iowa and into the lower portion of the Mississippi River.



State Record

State Records are not documented for non-game species.

Expert Tip



The Redfin Shiner prefers streams with aquatic plants, which probably limits its distribution because vegetation in Iowa streams is somewhat rare. Spawning occurs from spring through mid-summer, and this species may use the nests of sunfish for egg deposition. Adults reach about 3-inches long, and are found in large groups near the surface.

Recent stream sampling information is available from Iowa DNR's biological monitoring and assessment program.

Present in these Iowa water bodies: