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The Round Goby
Transcript of The Round Goby
Human Interests that are Affected
The invasion of the Round Goby has a negative impact on many human interests and activities such as fishing. It's negative impact on fishingt is definitely the biggest problem and there is much to talk about. First of all, fisherman are beginning to use the round goby as bait which isn't good at all. Why? Because if the goby gets off your line, it is now released back in to our lakes and rivers and will reproduce and make even more gobies. This will only worsen the problem. Second of all, when our sporting fish like Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout eat the Round Goby, the contaminants from the goby are transferred directly into the sporting fish. Now, whatever eats the sporting fish (humans) will get sick. This factor makes the health concerns about eating fish much higher. Third, not only do the Gobies poison the sporting fish, but they also eat their eggs. Having the eggs of sporting fish on the Round Gobies "menu" extremely decreases the population of sporting fish, especially considering the Gobies have an enormous appetite. This results in less fish to fish for and one less activity for humans.
Although, these pests also positively impact swimming. They make swimming better for humans because they feed on Zebra Mussels, another invasive species. Zebra Mussels are bad for swimming because if you step on them, they will cut your foot. So because Round Gobies eat Zebra Mussels, they decrease their population and make swimming more enjoyable.
The round Goby, Neogobius melanostomus originated in the Black and Caspian Seas in Eurasia. After they were transported to the North American by ballast water discharge from ships, their population grew immensely. Considering they have an extremely rapid expanding population, and that have access to so many lakes and rivers, the amount of Gobies on the earth has more than tripled since the invasion. The round Goby resides in as I said the Black and Caspian Seas in Eurasia, the Great Lakes, St Clair River, the Mississippi River and the Chicago River.
Why is the Round Goby`s Population Increasing so Fast?
There are many factors that contribute to why the population of the Round Goby's population increases so rapidly. The first and highest contributor being that female Gobies spawn every 20 days and can lay thousands of eggs per year. They reproduce very quickly and very often. Secondly, because they have so many bodies of water to live in, they never run out of space to live. Third, they are very aggressive fish, which means they are hard to compete with for food, territory, etc. Lastly, Round Gobies can live in very poor quality water, which helps these fish survive in the worst conditions. Basically to sum up what I just said, the Round Goby reproduces extremely fast and are hard to kill.
Affects on Other Species
Many other species are directly and indirectly affected by the invasion of the Round Goby. For example, lake trout, humans and zebra mussels.
First, Lake Trout are affected by the round goby because the round goby not only feed on the eggs of the trout, but when they eat the gobies, they become contaminated. This happens cause of the round goby's diet. Because they mostly only eat zebra mussels, there is a direct transfer of toxins from the goby to the trout after it eats it.
Second, Humans are affected basically because we eat the trout, which are now contaminated from eating the goby, and we become sick.
Finally, zebra mussels are affected by the round goby because the gobies diet consists predominantly of them. The gobies have huge appetites, so they can eat a lot of zebra mussels, which means as the goby's population grows, the mussels will have more predators and their population will quickly decrease.
Population Growth and
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Actions to Prevent more Round Gobies
People and the government has actually done a lot to prevent the population of the round goby to grow any more.
The first and most affective action was when the government made keeping a goby in your possession, using gobies as bait and throwing gobies back nto a lake or river ILLEGAL. The minimum fine for the possession of a live Goby is $305 and using a Goby as bait is $240.
Also, people have done a great job not only obeying that law, but raising awareness of this invasive species themselves. Many people have made countless websites and even advertisements to inform others about the negative impacts of the Round Goby. They help to tell people about the health risks of eating sporting fish thanks to gobies and how if we don't get rid of this species, they will be the only fish to fish for. Finally, a lot of people are going on to teach their kids how to identify a Goby and teaching them not to ever throw them back in the water which is effective. Even the little things matter.
What you can do:
Never use Round Gobies as bait
Never throw a Round Gobies back into the water
If you catch a Round Goby, destroy it
Learn how to identify this fish
Inform others about the negative impacts this invasive species has on aquatic ecosystems and tell them how they can help
If you have information about illegal importation, selling or buying of the Round Goby, call the MNR TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477
If you see a round goby or other invasive species in the wild, you can contact Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711
By Alex LeBrun