Round Goby Essay, Research Paper
The Round Goby
As if there weren?t enough problems for scientists trying to save the Great Lakes Eco System. Many non-native species have entered the eco system and many of them are harmful. Every species in itself has played a role in the eco system. These non-native species make it increasingly difficult for the Great Lakes Eco System to be regulated.
One species in particular, the Round Goby (Neogobious Melanostomus), is particularly harmful. This is a freshwater fish that originated from the Europe and Asia area, mostly residing in the Caspian and Black seas. The round goby was most likely introduced into this area by accident. It was brought over by ships traveling in the ocean to the Great lakes region. The first big outbreak of the round goby was found in Lake Michigan, with large amounts now found in Lakes Huron and Erie. Round gobies have only been noticed in the Great Lakes Region since about 1990. By 1994 they were found in many bays and rivers outside of Cleveland. Most of the goby sightings have remained in the Midwest.
There are many problems that the round goby creates. First the goby
reproduces quickly and in large amounts. Second the round goby, witch is very small, is a very aggressive fish and disturbs and eats many native fish and their eggs. Gobies are also a problem among fishermen because they often scare off the specific kind of fish that the fishermen are looking for. Another problem with the round goby is that it appears to be very similar to many native fish, which makes it hard to identify.
While this species is relatively new to the ecosystem of the Great Lakes, it has had an impact. The goby is known to harass and kill many fish of its kind and eat the eggs of many different species of fish. When they first arrived it was not totally apparent to scientists whether they would be harmful or not. However, as more showed up their behavior has been monitored and it has been determined that they are harmful to the environment they have now invaded. This species, if not monitored can create large threats to the reproduction abilities of lake trout as well. The round goby does do the eco system a favor in that it feeds heavily on another harmful species, the zebra muscle.
There have been many attempts to control this species of fish. However, it is extremely difficult to monitor and catch the round goby. Efforts such as surveillance monitoring and angling reports are among things being done. If you think that you have caught a round goby you must keep it and report it to your local DEA. While fishing you are supposed to check your live bait, as it is been transported in from all over the world. With the ability to produce so rapidly and being so hard to catch the ecosystem is just going to have to adapt to the new species that has invaded their waters. It is only limited time until the round goby invades the waters of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in mass amounts.