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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Goldeye - Hiodon alosoides

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status


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General Description
Members of the Mooneye family are moderately sized fishes with deep, flat-sided bodies covered by large silvery scales. They resemble herrings. They have large, reflective eyes with rods only, no cones. This makes them uniquely adapted to see under low light conditions but they cannot detect colors.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Large scales. Dorsal fin situated about the same distance posteriorly as the anal fin. Well-developed teeth on jaws, roof of mouth, and tongue.

Species Range
Montana Range


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1849

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

May make extensive migrations to spawn in tributary streams.

This is a species of the Large Valley and Large Prairie Rivers ecological systems, occasionally getting up into Medium prairie rivers and reservoirs that have direct connections; adapted to turbid water. Prefers calm waters for spawning and incubation.

Food Habits
Mostly insects; crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish also.

Young of year goldeye in middle Missouri River prefer backwater and side channel pool habitats as rearing areas.

Reproductive Characteristics
Spawns from late March through May. Sex mature at 3-4 yrs. Spawns in schools, eggs semi-buoyant. Spawned first in May in middle Missouri River.

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Citation for data on this website:
Goldeye — Hiodon alosoides.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from