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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Carmine Shiner in Canada

Population Sizes and Trends


Prior to its designation by COSEWIC, the carmine shiner had only been reported incidentally (e.g., Smart 1979). Since then, directed samplings have extended its known range (Stewart and Watkinson 2004). The species is present, but not abundant in the midcourse reach of the Whitemouth River (Smart 1979). The lack of information on its distribution and abundance may be an artifact of limited sampling, and of confusion with the emerald shiner.

Fluctuations and Trends


Rescue Effect

Rapids and falls, now largely replaced by hydroelectric dams, have partitioned fish habitat in the Winnipeg River mainstem, and falls at the mouth of the Whitemouth River prevent its re-colonization from the Winnipeg River. These barriers significantly reduce any natural rescue potential for the species. In addition, the original dispersal route, presumed to be from the Red Lakes area of Minnesota, may no longer be available (see Distribution). The percentage of the global range of the carmine shiner in Canada remains uncertain pending additional sampling in the Winnipeg River and Lake Winnipeg watersheds and genetic studies to clarify the relationship between these fish and other members of the Notropis rubellus species complex.