Gasterosteus aculeatus aculeatus occupy a wide range of habitats. They have been found in small, ephemeral streams in southern California and in more permanent flowing waters of variable sizes. These fish do not tolerate high-gradient streams, and they are rarely found in habitats more than a few hundred meters above sea level. In freshwater lakes, they are divided into benthic and limnetic ecotypes. Benthic environments include shallow, relatively eutrophic lakes or the littoral zone of deeper lakes. Limnetic ecotypes are typically found in the water column of deep oligotrophic lakes. Marine fish inhabit the open ocean.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; saltwater or marine ; freshwater
Aquatic Biomes: pelagic ; benthic ; lakes and ponds; rivers and streams; coastal ; brackish water
Other Habitat Features: estuarine ; intertidal or littoral