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Emerald shiner & other species
#513176 10/23/19 10:07 PM
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Does anyone know of any sources of Emerald shiner or other not so common species of soft ray type forage that might be available in the central regions of the U.S.??
Looking to experiment with other types-just can't find anything else available (maybe for good reason?).
I've contacted a couple of wholesale facilities and left messages and no replies in close to 2 weeks.
I've searched the resource guide and nothing listed other than std FHM and GSH. Maybe a Forage pond is justified.


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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513179 10/23/19 11:28 PM
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Spotfin and Spottail shiners will spawn in ponds and Cody recommends them for cool water species fisheries in addition to Lake chubsuckers. I may start raising one of these species in a grow out pond - all species fit my forage base needs better than Golden shiners as they max out around 4-6" so an adult YP can handle max size. The only place Ive found these for sale are the aquarium websites and they are $4 per fish. Need at least 20 to start I guess. I don't believe Emerald shiners can reproduce in pond settings, but Cody would have to verify.


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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513202 10/24/19 09:28 AM
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Mr. Cody helped me with the knowledge base to get SFS established in my pond and I'm very tickled with them. I noted that the fish farm near me only sold FHM but it seems it would be easy for them to also offer Spotfins or spottails and people would soon switch over due to the many advantages of shiners (not GSH) over FHM.

My observations are:
SFS are very hardy, speedy, and vigorous more so than FHM

They must be able to elude predation better without cover since in my bare pond they are still thriving

They require a little more specialized spawning structure but even though I probably didn't hit a home run in my spawning structure design area they still found a way to produce thousands of babies. They are just as happy using natural crevices in logs as well. I'm thinking that all of us who have created and sunk pallets or stacks of pallets, that we could probably add crevices (circular saw grooves) to those and resink them and they could do double duty for FHM and Shiner spawn structure

They don't lay eggs as many times (compared to FHM) over the warm water season, but shiners still may pull off 2-3 spawns once water temps warm up to around 65 and above.

They don't require pellet training, they readily surface feed and attack pellets innately. They are fearless and chase down pellets into the shallows even til they almost beach themselves.

Because of their fervent pellet attacks on the surface, they train my other fish and my YP to come to the dinner table at pellet time and make a meal of the shiners while the shiners are busy feeding at the surface.

Agree with TJ, there is an advantage that they reach a peak size that is smaller than a large adult GSH so that YP can continue to use the adult shiners as a food source.

For those with Walleye, they prefer a diet of smaller minnows and the adult shiners at 4-5" are just perfect for adult walleye.

I know of no sources in MI to get them. I believe they can be purchased from fish farms in OH but not sure they will ship them in a box to another state.

This is a case where those of us who have grow out cages or forage ponds should try to get established populations and then see if the tiny shiners could be shipped to help others out.

they would transport in a aerated tank pretty easily on the back of a pickup truck.

I'm pretty sure fellow PB member dono in ontario has reproducing emerald shiners in his pond but he also has constant moving water from a waterfall feature.


Last edited by canyoncreek; 10/24/19 11:50 AM.
Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513205 10/24/19 09:51 AM
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In ponds spotfins are much more prolific than spotails. Some work needs to be done with spottails to determine how well they spawn in pond habitats. Pond spawning characteristics of spottails in the literature is almost non-existent. Emerald shiners will not spawn in normal non-flowing water ponds. Numerous Lake Erie minnow sellers have experimented with emerald shiners with no success.

I think the other spotfin related shiner called the steelcolor shiner would be a good pond spawning species; max size 6.3".
Snipe since you are west of the MIssissippi Rv I would seriously consider the more western area red shiner Cyprinella lutrensis max size 3", spawns in reservoirs, tolerant of harsh conditions like turbidity, wide temperature and DO range.
https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/86206#055B30AC-F794-4AC7-BEC0-F6E3067EACBD

Red shiners are habitat generalists and favour a wide range of environmental conditions that most other fish species cannot tolerate. Spawning season of C. lutrensis is from spring to fall and the peak is during the mid-summer months. Crevice spawner similar to the other Cyprinella species. Females may release up to 16 batches of eggs per day, with up to 71 eggs per batch. An average clutch size may equal around 585 eggs and males and females may spawn 5-19 clutches over the reproductive season (Gale, 1986). Laser and Carlander (1971) reported that 485-684 eggs were laid per gravid female.
Red shiner is a faster swimmer than the FHM and might not tolerate bass predation very well. But probably a very good forage species for YP and WE.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/24/19 10:25 AM.

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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513211 10/24/19 12:34 PM
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Thanks Cody that's great intel. With our luck Red Shiners are likely as elusive to source as the other highly sought after species. If I can find them I'll start a reproduction pond for them.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
canyoncreek #513212 10/24/19 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Mr. Cody helped me with the knowledge base to get SFS established in my pond and I'm very tickled with them. I noted that the fish farm near me only sold FHM but it seems it would be easy for them to also offer Spotfins or spottails and people would soon switch over due to the many advantages of shiners (not GSH) over FHM.

My observations are:
SFS are very hardy, speedy, and vigorous more so than FHM

They must be able to elude predation better without cover since in my bare pond they are still thriving

They require a little more specialized spawning structure but even though I probably didn't hit a home run in my spawning structure design area they still found a way to produce thousands of babies. They are just as happy using natural crevices in logs as well. I'm thinking that all of us who have created and sunk pallets or stacks of pallets, that we could probably add crevices (circular saw grooves) to those and resink them and they could do double duty for FHM and Shiner spawn structure

They don't lay eggs as many times (compared to FHM) over the warm water season, but shiners still may pull off 2-3 spawns once water temps warm up to around 65 and above.

They don't require pellet training, they readily surface feed and attack pellets innately. They are fearless and chase down pellets into the shallows even til they almost beach themselves.

Because of their fervent pellet attacks on the surface, they train my other fish and my YP to come to the dinner table at pellet time and make a meal of the shiners while the shiners are busy feeding at the surface.

Agree with TJ, there is an advantage that they reach a peak size that is smaller than a large adult GSH so that YP can continue to use the adult shiners as a food source.

For those with Walleye, they prefer a diet of smaller minnows and the adult shiners at 4-5" are just perfect for adult walleye.

I know of no sources in MI to get them. I believe they can be purchased from fish farms in OH but not sure they will ship them in a box to another state.

This is a case where those of us who have grow out cages or forage ponds should try to get established populations and then see if the tiny shiners could be shipped to help others out.

they would transport in a aerated tank pretty easily on the back of a pickup truck.

I'm pretty sure fellow PB member dono in ontario has reproducing emerald shiners in his pond but he also has constant moving water from a waterfall feature.



Good summary thank you for the insight!


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513213 10/24/19 01:03 PM
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TJ, these exist in SW NE lakes I frequent. I've netted them at night in just a few inches of water and I will be 100% honest, I had never identified them as Red shiner. Now I know.
I have never seen a source listed for this species but I know where to capture some but I can see it will be extremely labor intensive.
Nothing good ever comes easily, right?
Thanks Bill for the great info.
I might also add I was able to determine the female is a more pale silver vs the male having the blueish tint with much more obvious red to orange fins.

Last edited by Snipe; 10/24/19 01:05 PM.

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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Bill Cody #513227 10/24/19 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody


Red shiners are habitat generalists and favour a wide range of environmental conditions that most other fish species cannot tolerate. Spawning season of C. lutrensis is from spring to fall and the peak is during the mid-summer months. Crevice spawner similar to the other Cyprinella species. Females may release up to 16 batches of eggs per day, with up to 71 eggs per batch. An average clutch size may equal around 585 eggs and males and females may spawn 5-19 clutches over the reproductive season (Gale, 1986). Laser and Carlander (1971) reported that 485-684 eggs were laid per gravid female.
Red shiner is a faster swimmer than the FHM and might not tolerate bass predation very well. But probably a very good forage species for YP and WE.


Red shiner like mid-depth and open water for foraging and I absolutely love this prey fish for the region you specify. Except for the Oachiatas and Ozarks this minnow is ubiquitous everywhere else in the region. They are fractional spawners that will produce a reproducing generation. By that I mean that the April offspring will be breeding in August. Like GSH they will utilize lepomis and LMB nest sites for spawning. They prefer crevises but hey these guys also use timber, brush, and weeds for spawning substrate. I can't recall where I read it but one reference remarked how without some dark time, aquarium red shiner bred themselves to death under 24 hours of light.

Minnows like red shiner and Gambusia have one great advantage over FHM under conditions where their adult predators are present. The are highly likely to produce fry before they are extirpated. With FHM, probably very few. Eggs will not hatch without the care of the male and once the sitting duck nest defending males are eaten, there will be no more production of fry whatsoever even if there were millions of eggs still carried by females. This is an area of research that would be of great interest to me, that is, what range of forage production (beyond the initial weight) of various timely introductions of minnows can be expected.

Last edited by jpsdad; 10/24/19 04:04 PM.
Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513229 10/24/19 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: Snipe
TJ, these exist in SW NE lakes I frequent. I've netted them at night in just a few inches of water and I will be 100% honest, I had never identified them as Red shiner. Now I know.
I have never seen a source listed for this species but I know where to capture some but I can see it will be extremely labor intensive.
Nothing good ever comes easily, right?
Thanks Bill for the great info.
I might also add I was able to determine the female is a more pale silver vs the male having the blueish tint with much more obvious red to orange fins.


What are you waiting for? Few weeks until ice up, get moving already.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513240 10/24/19 07:06 PM
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It sucks that all the sampling, conversations and good ideas that come from it have to be at a time of year that impatient people like me find we can't do anything about it until the following year!
Swanson and Enders don't usually ice up until mid-late December but there ain't nothing shallow.
I would bet that 2 guys with 25' seine can make it happen in the spring though.


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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513241 10/24/19 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: Snipe
.I would bet that 2 guys with 25' seine can make it happen in the spring though.


If I tried that here in a public BOW I would have "The Man" all over me and probably get a huge fine and my equipment confiscated!



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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513247 10/24/19 09:17 PM
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We can use a seine, trap etc.. just can't be closer than 150 yrds from the mouth of river or tributary.
If I do it at night, well....


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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513251 10/24/19 10:33 PM
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Ok let me know when you and Bill are done collecting and are driving up to Lincoln. Ill take 500 and Bill please remember to bring a six pack of IPA. Feel free to grab something for yourself - Kenny is paying.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513253 10/25/19 12:41 AM
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I know how these deals usually work out, so "if" I was lucky enough to obtain the required specimens I would indeed buy and buy again.. grin


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Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513262 10/25/19 08:57 AM
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One more observation I wanted to make about SFS...
most people on the forum are now describing pellet feeding shutting down as water temps cool.
My pond is pretty chilly, nights are 32 soon. But the SFS are slamming pellets as if the water was 90 degrees. It seems they don't mind eating and growing even in our cool weather.

Re: Emerald shiner & other species
Snipe #513269 10/25/19 10:13 AM
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I would love a second minnow in addition to the FHM for our place, but I do not want GSH. I will be a customer!!


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