Gobiocypris rarus, a small, native cyprinid fish, is currently widely used in research on fish pathology, genetics, toxicology, embryology, and physiology in China. To develop this species as a model laboratory animal, inbred strains have been successfully created. In this study, to explore a method to discriminate inbred strains and evaluate inbreeding effects, morphological variation among three wild populations and three inbred stocks of G. rarus was investigated by the multivariate analysis of eight meristic and 30 morphometric characters. Tiny intraspecific variations in meristic characters were found, but these were not effective for population distinction. Stepwise discriminant analysis and cluster analysis of conventional measures and truss network data showed considerabe divergence among populations, especially between wild populations and inbred stocks. The average discriminant accuracy for all populations was 82.1% based on conventional measures and 86.4% based on truss data, whereas the discriminant accuracy for inbred strains was much higher. These results suggested that multivariate analyses of morphometric characters are an effective method for discriminating inbred strains of G. rarus. Morphological differences between wild populations and inbred strains appear to result from both genetic differences and environmental factors. Thirteen characters, extracted from stepwise discriminant analysis, played important roles in morphological differentiation. These characters were mainly measures related to body depth and head size.