Abstract We investigated in goldfish, Carassius auratus, how running water affects the responses of toral lateral line units to a stationary vibrating sphere or to a non-vibrating sphere that moves along the side of the fish. Experiments were conducted in the presence of running water (hydrodynamic noise) to further explore the sensory capabilities of the lateral line with special focus on the morphological sub-modalities. Previous recordings from lateral line nerve fibres in various fish species and the first nucleus of the ascending lateral line pathway in goldfish revealed flow-sensitive and flow-insensitive units. These physiological differences represent, at least in part, the differences in morphology of the lateral line, superficial and canal neuromasts. Following up on these findings we recorded flow-sensitive and flow-insensitive units in the Torus semicircularis of goldfish. In still water, both types of units responded to a vibrating or moving sphere. In running water, neural responses were weaker when the sphere was moved with the flow but were comparable or slightly stronger when the sphere was moved against the flow. In running water, responses of flow-sensitive fibres to the vibrating sphere were masked. In contrast, the responses of units insensitive to water flow were not masked. Our data confirm previous findings but also indicate differences when compared to previous reports. We discuss these differences with respect to lateral line morphology, sub-modalities and convergence of different channels of information at higher brain stations.