There is very little known about the life history of the blackchin shiner (2) (4) (6). Female blackchin shiners collected during July and August in Manitoba are often reported to have mature eggs in their ovaries (6). It is thought to be likely that spawning starts as early as May (2).
The blackchin shiner is reported to feed primarily on small crustaceans, as well as on worms, insects and some plant material (2) (5) (6). It is thought to feed from the middle level of the water column rather than the bottom (4) (6). Midges have been found in the guts of blackchin shiners, which indicates that this species can feed on small flying insects at the water’s surface (2) (4).
Thanks to its high abundance and small size, the blackchin shiner is thought to be an important food source for juvenile northern pike (Esox lucius) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens), both of which are found in the same habitat in Manitoba (6).
It is suggested that the blackchin shiner, along with other black-striped shiners, may be tolerant to low levels of oxygen due to its presence in oxbow lakes of the Assiniboine River in Manitoba (6).