The Golden Darter is found in the Tennessee River Drainage from the Duck River in west-central Tennessee upstream to the Clinch River System in northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia. Populations within the Tennessee River Drainage are heavily fragmented due to reservoir construction. It is found in runs and riffles of large streams and rivers. Its maximum size is only 1.75 inches. As its common name implies, the Golden Darter has a golden edge to its dorsal fin and an orange coloration with dark bars on the back of its body.