Gobio gobio


A small, slender fish, the gudgeon has two moustache-like 'barbels' around its mouth which it uses to detect its prey amongst the sand and gravel on the riverbed. Found in canals and sandy and gravelly rivers and streams, feeding on the bottom, it eats small invertebrates such as mayfly larvae and freshwater shrimps as well as fish eggs. Spawning during spring and summer, the female lays sticky eggs amongst weeds and stones which hatch out about 10 days after being fertilised.

How to identify

The gudgeon is a bottom-living fish similar to the stone loach but with a deeply forked tail and only two barbels at the mouth. It has a dark back, dark bars along the flanks and speckled, pale belly.

Where to find it

Found throughout the lowlands, widespread in England but rarer in Wales and Scotland.

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

To help to look after gudgeon and other fish species, The Wildlife Trusts work with landowners, statutory bodies, water companies and other organisations to help manage river and wetland habitats sympathetically. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Gobio gobio
Freshwater fish
Length: 7-15cm Weight: 3-6g Average Lifespan: 3-5 years
Conservation status