Rhinogobius formosanus Oshima, 1919 has long been considered an amphidromous goby. However, a landlocked population recently found in the Jingualiao Creek upstream of the Feitsui Reservoir in Taipei suggests that R. formosanus may complete its life in the river. This study aims to verify the habitat use of the landlocked population of R. formosanus collected from the Feitsui Reservoir and an amphidromous population collected in Malian Creek using otolith Sr:Ca ratio analysis. The hypothesis that early life history varies between the landlocked and migratory gobies was also tested. Genetic analyses show that the Feitsui Reservoir and Malian Creek populations are not genetically different. Rhinogobius formosanus from Malian Creek showed high-to-low otolith Sr:Ca ratios suggesting that these specimens spent a planktonic larval stage in the sea followed by a freshwater life at later stages. In contrast, R. formosanus from the Feitsui Reservoir showed constant lower otolith Sr:Ca ratios, implying a landlocked life history of fish in the creek upstream of the reservoir. In addition, the analysis of growth increments showed a longer pelagic larval duration for the fish in the Malian Creek (58.8 days) than those in the Feitsui Reservoir (38.8). Variation of pelagic larval duration in two genetically homogenous populations implies acclimatization to the reservoir by the landlocked gobies. This study shows that R. formosanus , like some other congeners, is capable of adapting to a freshwater landlocked environment in its early developmental stage and supports the hypothesis that landlocked populations may have a shorter pelagic larval duration.