Ed Golson Outdoor Education

round Goby

( Invasive Species! )

Scientific Name: Neogobius melanostomus

Description: Round gobies are a pesky species of fish that are not native to the Great Lakes region. They were originally from Turkey and Russia and were brought here in the ballasts of sea going freighters. They are fairly small fish- usually 6 inches or less in length. They have a frog-like head and bottom fins that are connected to each other. Gobies are gray in color and often have dark patches on their body. 

Habitat: They aren't native to the Great Lakes region, but they are now found in all the Great Lakes, the Mississippi river, and all of their tributaries. They prefer to live along the bottoms of rivers and near the shores of lakes. They are also capable of living in areas where the water is too polluted or has too little oxygen for other fish. 

Feeding: Gobies eat fish eggs, insects and other aquatic invertebrates . Gobies are also one of the few animals that eat zebra mussels , but they don't actually eat enough to keep the zebra mussel population down.  

What's the Problem? : Gobies are troublesome because they reproduce very quickly and take over prime habitat. Most types of fish only spawn - or lay eggs- once a year or less. Gobies spawn up to six times a year. In addition, they eat the eggs and young of other types of fish. Gobies are also very aggressive despite their small size and will push other species out of areas they want to live in. 

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