The tidewater goby is found along the Pacific coast of California from the Smith River in Del Norte County, south to Agua Hedionda Logoon in San Diego County. It is a small fish, rarely exceeding two inches in length. It's body is somewhat transparent-like, with blotches of brownish-gray colorations, and it has large pectoral fins, a blunt, elongate tail, and pelvis fins on the underside that are joined together into a sucker-like disk.
This species' habitat consists of brackish shallow lagoons and lower stream reaches with low salt-levels and where the water is fairly still but not stagnant. Reproduction occurs year round, although a great deal of spawning occurs in April and May. Males dig vertical burrows for females to deposit their eggs, and the larvae emerge nine to ten days later. All stages of the tidewater goby's life are spent in the same area unless forced into another marine environment during a strong storm. As larvae, they are usually found inshore using vegetation as shelter. As juveniles, these fish are believed to rest on the floor of the lagoons, feeding on small crustaceans such as copepods, amphipods, and mysid shrimp. Adults mainly feed on crustaceans, aquatic insects, and mollusks.
This species has declined because of loss of its coastal saltmarsh habitat due to coastal development activities resulting in salinity and pollution of the water. This species also competes with the yellowfin goby (Acanthogobius flavimanus), another fish that has been introduced in the area. The tidewater goby was listed as endangered in 1994 and is now legally protected. Also, the US FWS has developed a recovery plan aiming to guide conservation activities for the species.
Tidewater Goby Facts Last Updated:
January 1, 2006
To Cite This Page:
Glenn, C. R. 2006. "Earth's Endangered Creatures - Tidewater Goby Facts" (Online).
Accessed 4/27/2017 at http://earthsendangered.com/profile.asp?sp=662&ID=9.
Need more Tidewater Goby facts?