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Topeka Shiner

Topeka Shiner


Stout body that is only slightly compressed. The back is straw-colored, and the scales are edged with pigment, while the sides are silvery and the belly is silvery-white. A dusky lateral band ends at the base of the caudal fin with a distinct, though small, dark wedge-shaped spot. Nuptial males have bright red or orange fins on the lower sides. A terminal mouth is small and oblique and no barbel is present. Pharyngeal teeth are arranged in a 4-4 pattern. The anal fin has 7 rays, and the lateral line has about 35 scales.


Topeka Shiner Distribution

Found most often in the North Raccoon River, Boone River, and upper portion of the Iowa River basins with a few scattered populations in the northwest and east-central streams.



State Record

Not allowed for threatened or endangered species.

Expert Tip



The Topeka Shiner is designated as a federal endangered species and a threatened state species.

Adults reach about 3-inches long. This species spawns from late June to August. The Topeka Shiner is a fish of wide expanses with sandy shoals in the upper reaches of streams, which may be sporadic in the summer.

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


Present in these Iowa water bodies: