Department of Environmental Conservation

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Family: Hiodontidae

This family includes two species, one of which occurs in New York. They are herring-like in appearance. Their most distinctive feature, teeth on their tongues and the roofs of their mouth, distinguish them from all other fish in the state. The members of this family are found only in North America. In New York, the mooneye is found in larger rivers and lakes. It is native and rare.


Image of a Mooneye fish

Hiodon tergisus

Mooneye lives in low gradient, clear-water streams and lakes. It is native to seven watersheds. It has declined to levels below detection in the Allegheny watershed. Steep declines have been noted in the Champlain watershed. It has recovered in the Oswegatchie and Saint Lawrence River. It is occasionally seen in Lake Ontario and in tributaries downstream of Massena and the Raquette River. Mooneye is classified as Threatened.

Fish atlas map for Mooneye