General information about goldeye (Hiodon alosoides), a cool-water fish species in Alberta.



  • Goldeye have a blunt head, with sharp teeth and a deep, compressed body.
  • Its prominent eyes have bright yellow pupils and are specially adapted for dim, dark waters.
  • Colour ranges from dark-blue to blue-green on its back, with silvery or white sides.


  • This species is found in all major rivers in Alberta and in Lake Athabasca and other lakes in the Athabasca Delta area.
  • It is among the most mobile of Alberta's cool-water fishes. Annual migrations of mature goldeye can exceed 1000 kilometres (621 miles).

Natural History


  • Goldeye prefer the quiet, slow-moving waters of large rivers and the muddy shallows of large lakes.


  • This species feeds mostly on insects, snails and other fish

Reproduction and Growth

Breeding Behaviour

  • Goldeye spawn in the spring, in slow currents over gravelly or rocky lake and river bottoms.

Conservation and Management


Goldeye are classified as Secure in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:

Current management

Fish Sustainability Index

Alberta's goldeye populations have been assessed under the Fish Sustainability Index, see:


Goldeye are cool-water game fish subject to current Alberta sportfishing regulations. For details, see the My Wild Alberta website at:

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