Fisheries and Land Resources

Three-spined Stickleback

Gasterosteus aculeatus


Native to Newfoundland and Labrador.


This is most common stickleback species in Newfoundland. It can be found in almost all water bodies in the province, and prefers shallow vegetated areas, usually over mud or sand.


Arctic and Atlantic drainages inland as far as Lake Ontario in Canada.


Sticklebacks are voracious predators and will eat any food available to them, including worms, small drowned insects, fish eggs, crustaceans, and larvae.

Breeding Biology

Sticklebacks reach sexual maturity at one year of age, and spawn in fresh water, generally in June or July. Breeding will occur throughout the summer. Shallow sandy bottoms are the preferred substrate for nest building. With nests constructed of small sticks and plant debris. The nest is held together by mucus secretions from the kidney. Males entice females into the nest with a zigzag courtship dance. Females may lay as many as 600 eggs on one occasion. Eggs are sticky and form as one large cluster, and hatch in about seven days.


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