The Endangered Arkansas Shiner: The Canadian River is Not a Safe Place to Call Home

Sep 15, 2013

Salt Cedar along the Canadian River

The Arkansas Shiner is a small, silvery minnow that spawns in the Canadian River.  It also has a prime spot on the federal government’s list of threatened species.  No longer found in Arkansas, numbers were so diminished two years ago, shiners were netted and taken to a hatchery in Oklahoma to preserve them reported The Texas Tribune

The Canadian is not a safe and secure place to call home.  The river holds a number of threats. 

·        The drought has severely reduced water in the river.  Lake Meredith, built to hold the Canadian flow is empty.

·        The thirsty salt cedar compounds drought issues along the river’s edge

·        New Mexico has first rights on the river to store 200,000 acre-feet of water.

·        Off-road vehicles are a common sight up and down the river bed outside Amarillo.  It’s legal, as long as they don’t get in the water.  Technically, if a federal marshal was there, it would be harassing the fish.

Arkansas Shiner

This piece is part of the Troubled Water series.  An interactive map from the Texas Tribune gives a view of Texas rivers.  Hover over a river to find the story written about it; if it hasn't been published yet, check back at a later time. 

For more information about Texas waterways, go to  In the Flow.