Redfin shiner lives in low gradient streams with clean gravel and some submerged aquatic vegetation. It is native to western and central New York or about 1/6th the state. It has declined to levels below detection in central New York, and there are also major declines in tributaries to Lake Ontario. Its distribution mimics that of longear sunfish because both species use the same nesting sites. Despite declines it retains a limited distribution in the western New York, and it is classified as Special Concern.