Despite the extreme environment, Australia’s iconic Lake Eyre Basin is home to a range of aquatic animals – including fish. In fact, during massive floods, the desert is teeming with them. But such flood events are very rare. So, how do fish survive in the meantime? In a new study led by Krys Mossop, we showed that the survival of desert gobies hinges on constantly moving to new water sources. Specifically, we discovered that gobies from very different parts of the landscape were genetically similar, demonstrating that populations are much more connected than anticipated. These findings have implications for conserving species like the desert goby, and related fish that are endangered by habitat loss and degradation through human use of the desert’s scarce water resources.