Abstract Activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR), and glucose-6-phophate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) were measured in four tissues of goldfish, Carassius auratus L., over 1–12 h of high temperature (35 °C) exposure followed by 4 or 24 h of lower temperature (21 °C) recovery. SOD activity was strongly affected by heat shock, increasing 4-fold in brain, liver, and kidney, but was mainly reversed at recovery. In some tissues, activities of SOD, catalase, GPx, and G6PDH decreased significantly after 1 h heat shock exposure suggesting that thermal inactivation possibly occurred, but were renewed at further exposure. In many cases, 4 h of return to the initial temperature decreased enzyme activities. High correlation coefficients between SOD activities and levels of lipid peroxidation products suggest that these products might be involved in up-regulation of antioxidant defense. Several enzymes (SOD, GST, GR) responded to stress in coordinated manner.