• Family: Gasterosteidae (Sticklebacks)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 1.5-2.5 inches, can occasionally reach just over 3 inches in length.
• Typical Foods: Insects larvae, crustaceans, snails, and other aquatic invertebrates.
This species is easily identified by four to six completely separated dorsal spines. This is the only fish in Ohio with separated dorsal spines. Each pectoral fin also has a sharp stout spine. In addition, it is a small fish and has no scales.
Habitat and Habits
The brook stickleback is found in small streams of Northeast Ohio and the Mad River system. They prefer cold clear water with submerged vegetation. This species is tolerant of high alkalinity and acidic water, but is very intolerant of turbid (murky) water.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Brook stickleback spawn from late April to mid-June when water temperatures range from 40 to 70 F°. The males select and defend territories in which to build their nests which are constructed out of pieces of dead vegetation and leaf litter. Females then lay up to 250 adhesive eggs. Sticklebacks usually become sexually mature at age one and most do not live past their second year.