Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

TWRA's Region 4 - East Tennessee

Reservoir Fisheries Management Program

Striped Shiner - Luxilus chrysocephalus

(This page was last updated - 06/13/2007)

Scientific name: Luxilus chrysocephalus (chrysocephalus = "golden head ")

Common names: striped shiner, common shiner

striped shiner 
A Holston River striped shiner - photo by Jim Negus

Species Overview

The striped shiner is very common in middle and east Tennessee streams. Most anglers who collect live bait or fish area streams are familiar with this easily identifiable shiner.

They can be caught using a very small hook and pieces of night crawlers or with tiny rooster tail spinners.



They are high bodied and their lateral line scales are more than twice as deep as they are long. The dark pigmentation usually present on the front of individual scales is a useful characteristic.


 striped shiner
Breeding coloration on a Tennessee striped shiner - photo by Bart Carter


Striped shiners grow large and can reach 9-inches in length. They feed on a variety of terrestrial and aquatic insects, algae, aquatic invertebrates, and even small crayfish. Spawning occurs when water temperatures reach 60 F, over various substrates, and in swift or quiet currents. Males may build their own shallow depressions (nests) or use nests created by other shiners.


 striped shiner
A Bull Run Creek striped shiner - photo by Jim Negus


Etnier, D. and W. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press.