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The Round Goby Essay

952 words - 4 pages

The round goby, Neogobius melanostomus, is a non-native species of fish. They are known for their aggressiveness and their signature black spot on their dorsal fin. Originally found in Eurasia, specifically the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and the Caspian Sea. They are able to inhabit both freshwater and salt water, making their ability to thrive almost anywhere possible. After first being discovered in the St. Clair River in 1990, the invasive species now calls the Great Lakes of the United States home. It is believed that the round goby was first brought here by international shipping vessels. In a matter of 14 short years, they were able to inhabit all five great lakes and are ...view middle of the document...

This is decreasing the numbers of its larger fish predators, but also food sources for fish of the same size and other aquatic animals. As adults, round gobies are filling the niches of native species and also taking over spawning grounds. The round goby is also associated with well-known bioaccumlates such toxins from zebra mussels and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) (Kornis et al., 2012). As the round goby eats inverts and smaller fish that contain these toxins, and they themselves are then eaten by larger animals, the concentration of the toxins intensifies. The round goby is also believed to be a possible vector of avian botulism. Because the round goby is a bottom-dwelling fish it lives in areas where botulism is probable of living. And as most predators do, the seabirds fish for the easiest fish to catch. When a round goby becomes infected with botulism, in their last few hours they swim randomly and not necessarily near the bottom, drawing attention to them (Yule et al., 2006).
The future impacts of the round goby do not show any sign of decreasing in population size. Round gobies are now being seen inhabiting streams. It was unknown that they were able to sustain a population in streams, so now it is being predicted that the Great Lakes are acting as holding area of for the round gobies main population as they head inward into ecosystems inland (Kornis et al., 2010). Also, in the Rhine River, there have been hybrids of the round goby and the monkey goby first generations outside the areas of each individual home range. If another goby species is introduced to the United States, there is the possibility that this may happen again (Linder et al., 2013).
The round goby is a well-known invasive species almost globally. Here in the United States, there has not been a strong implementation of...

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