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Montana Field Guides

Goldfish - Carassius auratus

Non-native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:


 

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General Description
Goldfish have been introduced and have become established in several locations east of the Continental Divide in Montana. The goldfish is an Asian species that has been bred for bright colors and large, showy fins for the aquarium trade. However, the wild goldfish in Montana are greenish-brown in color and lack the enlarged fins. They hybridize with common carp in some locations outside Montana. Wild goldfish can reach a weight of several pounds. Goldfish can become so numerous in the wild that they crowd out more desirable species. It is illegal to release them in any lake, pond, or stream in the state.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Variable. Ranges from red, orange, black, white or any combination of these in cultured varieties to dark olive brown in individuals that have reverted to the wild.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 7

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

Recency

 

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



Habitat
Prefers Ponds and streams, low turbidities, abundance of vegetation, and little or no current. Known to survive in water 40-80 degrees F.

Food Habits
Mostly phytoplankton but some small aquatic invertebrates eaten.

Ecology
Coexists with carp at all sites where found in southeast Montana. No goldfish x carp hybrids reported in Montana.

Reproductive Characteristics
Sexually mature in 1-2 yrs. Spawns late spring - mid summer. Incubation: 5-8 days at 65-70 degrees F. Spawns at water temperatures above 60 degrees F.

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Monello, R.J. and R.G. Wright. 2001. Predation by goldfish (Carassius auratus) on eggs and larvae of the eastern long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum columbianum). Journal of Herpetology 35(2): 350-353.
    • Penkal, R.F. 1977. Black bass populations of the Tongue River Reservoir, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 111 p.
    • Rosenthal, L.R. 2007. Evaluation of distribution and fish passage in relation to road culverts in two eastern Montana prairie streams. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 78 p.
    • Sylvester, R. and B. Marotz. 2006. Evaluation of the Biological Effects of the Northwest Power Conservation Council's Mainstem Amendment on the Fisheries Upstream and Downstream of Hungry Horse and Libby Dams, Montana. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Annual Report prepared for U.S. Department of EnergyBonneville Power Administration. Bonneville Power Administration Project No. 2006-008-00 Contract No. 28350. 124 p.Contract No. 28350
    • Sylvester, R. and B. Stephens. 2011. Evaluation of the physical and biological effects of the Northwest Power Conservation Council's Mainstem Amendment upstream and downstream of Libby Dam, Montana. Libby, MT: Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Annual Report prepared for U.S. Department of Energy Bonneville Power Administration. Bonneville Power Administration Project No. 2006-008-00, Contract Nos. 43309 and 48555. 282 p.
    • Sylvester, R., A. Steed, J. Tohtz, and B. Marotz. 2008. Evaluation of the Biological Effects of the Northwest Power Conservation Council's Mainstem Amendment on the Fisheries Upstream and Downstream of Hungry Horse and Libby Dams, Montana. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Annual Report prepared for U.S. Department of EnergyBonneville Power Administration. Bonneville Power Administration Project No. 2006-008-00 Contract No. 28350. 124 p.Contract No. 28350
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Citation for data on this website:
Goldfish — Carassius auratus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from