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Feb 27

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Invasion of the Bottom-Dwelling Gobies

Aggressive round goby fish are causing mayhem in the Great Lakes. Hook yourself up with the intel:

Round gobies are eating native species out of house and home! (via USDA Invasive Species Info)

Round gobies are eating native species out of house and home! (via USDA Invasive Species Info)

There’s trouble in the Great Lakes, and plenty of it’s coming from a non-native, bottom-dwelling fish called the round goby. These fish hitched a ride in the ballast waters of ships and arrived in the lakes uninvited.

This gray-mottled varmint is usually just a few inches long with frog-like eyes and thick lips. It looks a lot like a native sculpin fish but has a unique fin on its underbelly.

Looks aside, these intruders are taking over! They eat the eggs and young of native fish, steal their habitat, and reproduce like crazy. Plus, they do just fine in iffy water and can find food in total darkness.

If you fish, you may spot a round goby taking the bait on your hook. So remember, if you see ‘em, report ‘em.

Get Schooled:

  • Invasive species got your “goby”? Learn more about invasive species prevention with the U.S. Forest Service
  • Float this down your stream to understand how gobies affect running water, by the UW Sea Grant
  • The Goby Gazette: Read about the history and life cycle of the goby, from the University of Minnesota Sea Grant

The fine print:

 

 

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