ARKANSAS RIVER SHINER
This small (usually less than 2 inches) shiner is straw-colored with silvery sides. Scattered brown flecks occur on its sides behind the head. The anal fin has 8 rays compared to 7 on other shiner species found in the same habitat. The Arkansas River Shiner formerly occurred throughout the Arkansas River main stem and in that river’s major right bank tributary basins. The fish is extremely dependent upon flood flows from June through August to successfully spawn. Declining streamflows have now restricted its probable range in Kansas to a few stream reaches within the Lower Arkansas, Salt Fork Arkansas and Cimarron basins. The fish occurs in the upper reaches of the Cimarron River only during high streamflow events.
Arkansas River Shiners are protected by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act, the Federal Endangered Species Act, and state and federal regulations applicable to those acts. Any time an eligible project is proposed that will impact the species’ preferred habitats within its probable range, the project sponsor must contact the Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, Kansas 67124-8174. Department personnel can then advise the project sponsor on permit requirements.DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITATS
As defined by Kansas Administrative Regulations, critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining population(s) of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as those areas determined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to be essential for the conservation of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife. Currently, the following areas are designated critical for Arkansas River Shiners:
(1) All reaches of the main stem Cimarron River located within the state.
(2) The main stem Arkansas River from the U.S. Highway 281 crossing Sec. 33, T19S,
R13W, Barton County to the Kansas-Oklahoma border in Sec. 18, T35S, R5E, Cowley County.
(3) The main stem South Fork Ninnescah River and main stem Ninnescah from the Pratt
County Lake in Sec. 7, T28S, R12W, Pratt County to the Ninnescah-Arkansas confluence in Sec. 25, T31S, R2E, Sumner County.