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goldeye (Hiodon alosoides) Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors


The goldeye averages about 14 to 16 to inches in length. Its white-silver body is compressed side to side. The iris of the eye is gold-colored. The pelvic fins have a projection at their base. The front edge of the single, dorsal fin is located behind the front edge of the anal fin. Teeth are present on the jaws, roof of the mouth and tongue. Unlike the similar mooneye, there is no saw-toothed margin on the middle of the belly (ventral) side and no long extension of a dorsal fin ray.


The goldeye may be found statewide in Illinois except in the northeastern one-fourth. It lives in large and medium-sized rivers that have a good current. It prefers areas over a sand bottom. Spawning occurs in spring. The female may produce 25,000 eggs. The goldeye reaches maturity in its third year. This fish eats insects, crustaceans and fishes. It feeds at dusk or at night at the water’s surface.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Hiodontiformes
Family: Hiodontidae

Illinois Status: common, native