Golden shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucas
) belong to the minnow family (Cyprinidae
) and are widely distributed throughout the U.S, southern Canada, and into Mexico. They are widely cultured for use primarily as a baitfish, but possess a number of traits that make them an ideal forage species in ponds. First, they tolerate a wide range of temperatures; able to survive the hot months of summer, as well as ice cover in winter. Second, they exhibit a high reproductive capacity; spawning occurs throughout the entire growing season with individual females producing up to 10,000 - 20,000 eggs each. Finally, golden shiners grow fast, but rarely, if ever, exceed a size at which bass can efficiently feed on them. Due to their elongated shape and soft fin rays, bass can feed on a wide size range of shiners. In fact, jumbo golden shiners in the 12 inch range are the preferred bait for catching trophy largemouth bass in many southeastern lakes and reservoirs. Golden shiners should be stocked at a rate of 50 to 100 pounds per acre as supplemental forage.