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COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Carmine Shiner and Rosyface Shiner in Canada

Distribution

 

Rosyface Shiners are found in central and eastern North America (Figure 2).  In the east the limit of the range is the upper St. Lawrence River drainage of southern Quebec, south through New York and Vermont to the James River drainage of Virginia, but excluding the Delaware.  The range extends west through most of the Great Lakes drainage (excluding most tributaries to the north shore of Lake Superior) to the Red River of the North drainage in Minnesota and north into Manitoba.  West of the Appalachians it occurs in the upper Ohio and Mississippi River basins from Pennsylvania possibly to North Dakota (one location record from the Sheyenne River), Minnesota and Iowa.  East of the Mississippi it is found south to the Tennessee River drainage of North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama and west of the Mississippi in the Ozark uplands of Arizona, Oklahoma and Kansas to southern tributaries of the Missouri River in Montana (Scott and Crossman 1973; Gilbert and Burgess 1980).


Figure 2.  North American range of the Rosyface Shiner, Notropis rubellus (from sources cited in the text)


Figure 2.  North American range of the Rosyface Shiner, Notropis rubellus (from sources cited in the text).

In Canada, the species is most widely distributed in Ontario, although the range more or less extends from the upper St. Lawrence near Quebec City, west to southcentral western Manitoba (Figure 2), with a hiatus on the north shore system of Lake Superior. The Manitoba records look unusual only if we look at the Canadian populations in exclusion of the distribution in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

The species is limited to the extreme southern region of Quebec (Figure 3) where it is known from tributaries of the Ottawa River north and west at least to the Black River (Bergeron and Brousseau 1983), and of the St. Lawrence River as far downstream as the Nicolet River at the eastern end of Lake St. Pierre, just upstream of Quebec City (Mongeau et al.1974; Mongeau et al. 1979; Bergeron and Brousseau 1981).  Rosyface Shiners have also been collected from the south shore of the St. Lawrence from the Richelieu and Châteauguay rivers and other St. Lawrence River tributaries east to Leclercville on the River Grande (ROM 42159; Mongeau et al. 1974).  The distribution appears to be restricted to the St. Lawrence and Ottawa River drainages south of a line at approximately 46° N.

Figure 3.  General distribution of collection records of Notropis rubellus in Quebec(from sources cited in the text)


Figure 3.  General distribution of collection records of Notropis rubellus in Quebec(from sources cited in the text).

In Ontario, the species occurs in southwestern Ontario (Figure 4) in streams draining into lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and the eastern end of lake Superior and the Ottawa River watershed north to about the Mattawa River (Scott and Crossman 1973), as in Quebec at a line approximately at 46° N [(i.e., the Great Lakes watershed and not found in the Hudson, James or Ungava Bay (Arctic watersheds)].  Rosyface Shiners have not been recorded from north shore Lake Superior tributaries, although they have been recorded from several streams in Michigan tributary to that lake (Scott and Crossman 1973; Smith 1979).  Hinks (1943) referred to the species as occurring in the Lake of the Woods watershed, but there are no known records to support the statement.  The species should be looked for there as suitable habitat exists and other cyprinids with similar habitat requirements and distributions, such as Notropis heterodon, previously not known west of Sault St. Marie have recently been recorded from the Rainy River watershed in Quetico Park and the Wabigoon River watershed of the Kenora District of northwestern Ontario (Crossman and McAllister 1986; Crossman 1986; Stewart 1988). 

Figure 4.  General distribution of collection records of Notropis rubellus in Ontario(Mandrak and Crossman 1992)


Figure 4.  General distribution of collection records of Notropis rubellus in Ontario(Mandrak and Crossman 1992).


Figure 5.  General distribution of collection records of Notropis rubellus in Manitoba(from sources cited in the text)


Figure 5.  General distribution of collection records of Notropis rubellus in Manitoba(from sources cited in the text).

Literature records of the presence of the species in Manitoba where it is known (A.J. Derksen, Fisheries Specialist, Manitoba Department of Natural Resources, Winnipeg, Manitoba; personal communication) from the Whitemouth-Birch river systems (tributary to the Winnipeg River which it joins above an historically impassable falls), go back at least to Hinks (1943).  However, these records are uncertain as they base the species’ presence on unsupported evidence that it occurred in the Lake of the Woods system.  Fedoruk (1969) also lists the species among the fauna of Manitoba, but he did not give the distribution of any species.  Scott and Crossman (1973) included its distribution in Manitoba as in the Red River in southern Manitoba, perhaps based on a 1955 collection by J.J. Keleher from the Whitemouth River at Whitemouth, Manitoba catalogued at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM 17539), but more likely because of the reports of the species from the Red River Basin in Minnesota (Derksen, personal communication).  The species does not occur along the axis of the Red River in Manitoba (K. Stewart, Department of Zoology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; personal communication).  No other reliable literature records are known, although the species has been collected several times since from the Whitemouth and as recently as 1984 (ROM 45731; NMC 84-0010, NMC 85-0002).  A previously unreported 1976 collection from Lake Manitoba, at Delta Marsh, catalogued in the Canadian Museum of Nature Collection (NMC 76-0421), has been re-examined and it was determined that the fish in this collection were actually Notropis atherinoides, not Notropis rubellus (B. Coad, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario; personal communication).