• Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows and Carps)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: Endangered
• Adult Size: Typically 1.5-2.5 inches, can reach 3 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates.
Blackchin shiners get their name from the black pigment on the tip of the lower jaw. This pigment is the beginning of a black stripe that runs through the eye, across the gills, and along the side to the base of the tail. The scales on the back and upper sides have distinct dark edges. There is a narrow stripe of golden colored scales that lack any dark edges just above the black stripe along the sides that sharply contrasts with the back and stripe. Blackchin shiners have an incomplete lateral line with a dusky spot above and below each sensory pore. All fins are transparent and they have 8 anal fin rays. The blackchin shiner differs from the bigeye shiner by having an incomplete lateral line, smaller eye, and drastically different habitat requirements. Blackchin shiners are often found in close association with blacknose shiners which lack any pigment on the lower jaw.
Habitat and Habits
Blackchin shiners were once common in the bays and marshes of western Lake Erie and in glacial lakes in northern Ohio such as the Portage Lakes in Akron. They were thought to have disappeared from the state by 1940 and none were found until the early 1980's when a population was discovered in Myers Lake in Canton Ohio where there may still be a small population. This species relies on very clear waters with an abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation. Populations quickly disappear if the water becomes turbid (murky) and the substrate becomes silted over with clay which smothers vegetation.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Blackchin shiners spawn in June or July by scattering eggs over dense vegetation. The eggs hatch in a few days and no further parental care is given.