Common Name

Scientific Name

View Utah Distribution Map

Photo by Duane Raver
Photo Courtesy of U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The goldfish, Carassius auratus, is native to Asia, but has become established in many areas of Utah, often in locations with very poor water quality. Although similar to carp, goldfish can be distinguished because individuals lack barbels on their upper jaw.

Goldfish eat invertebrates, including insects, and plant matter. The species spawns during the spring and summer, laying adhesive eggs every ten days or so. The large number of established goldfish populations in Utah indicates that many people have released goldfish into wild. This practice should stop, however, as the presence of goldfish can be detrimental to native fishes.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Sigler, W. F. and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah[:] a natural history. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. 375 pp.