ROUND GOBY

an invasive species to CANADA

Where the species originated and was found:

The species originated from the Black and Caspian Seas in eastern Europe. It was first found in the St. Clair River, which is north of Windsor, Ontario. It was first spotted in 1990. It can be found in all five Great Lakes, in land waters, and right here in Peterborough.

What affects it has had on native species:

The affect that the Round Goby is having on other native species is it is decreasing the number of fish in our waters. The Goby preys on native bottom-dwelling fish. It also threatens several species in the Great Lake Basin, and several species of freshwater mussels. They have reduced populations of sport fish by eating their eggs, by eating their young and eating the native species food. The Goby is linked to outbreaks of botulism.

Why is this species a danger to biodiversity:

The Round Goby is a danger to biodiversity, because they eat our native fish and fish eggs. If they eat all the eggs, our native fish cannot hatch and produce more fish. The Round Goby is thought to cause botulism. The disease is caused by toxins that cause a large number of fish and birds to die.

How did this species arrive:

Researchers believe the Goby was brought to North America in the ballast waters of freight ships travelling from Europe.

When did the species arrive:

The Round Goby first arrived in North American in 1990.

What the government is doing about this situation:

The Ontario government has banned the possession of live Round Gobies and the use of Round Gobies as baitfish. You are not allowed to put any live fish into Ontario lakes, rivers or streams. The UMESE Scientists are concerned about the spread of Round Gobies, so they have been working on the use of chemical toxicants as a potential management tool.

Interesting Facts:

Adult Round Gobies are 16cm long with a cylindrical body and a rounded blunt snout. Gobies look like several species of fish found in the Great Lakes. Round Gobies prefer waters with rocky and sandy bottoms. The Round Goby is a brownish or olive colour. They also have dark brown spots, but reproducing males are a little different because their body and fins are almost all black. I have personally caught about fifteen Gobies, in one day while fishing at Little Lake.


By: Mya Payne