The Golden Shiner is widespread across central and eastern North America from Texas to Nova Scotia, including Gulf and Atlantic coast, Mississippi River, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence, and Hudson Bay drainages. This fish has been introduced widely outside of its native range because of its popularity as a common bait fish. They can live in a variety of habitats in a range of temperatures and salinities. Golden Shiners have a narrow body and a ridge along their belly without scales. As the common name suggests, Golden Shiners have a golden coloration on their body.