The River Shiner prefers flowing water over sand bottoms in large streams having broad, exposed channels. They spawn from mid-June to mid-July. Little else is known of their reproductive habits in Kansas. Their food source is unknown.
The River Shiner is common in the Missouri River and the lower Arkansas River. It has rarely been found in the lower Kansas River, Ninnescah River, and the Arikaree and Smoky Hill rivers in extreme northwest Kansas.