[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

News Release - More Gobies Found In Duluth-Superior Harbor



Please notice there's background info. at the end of the release. 
Thank you!
                                 MN SEA GRANT
                                 NEWS RELEASE

DATE:  August 4, 1998                    For Information, Contact:  Doug Jensen
                                                                 (218) 726-8712
                                                      Email: djensen1@d.umn.edu
	
                   Goby Population Found in Duluth-Superior Harbor

Two Superior, WI, teenagers have discovered a thriving population of round 
gobies (Neogobius melanostomus), an exotic fish, in the Duluth-Superior harbor 
near Barker's Island Marina.  

"Unfortunately, this is the most significant confirmed report of a goby 
infestation in the Duluth-Superior harbor to date," said Doug Jensen, Exotic 
Species Information Center coordinator for the University of Minnesota Sea Grant
program.  "This also shows that anglers, especially youth, are getting the 
message about exotic species.  One of the teenagers said he remembered how to 
identify the round goby based on television news coverage and a recent newspaper
article," said Jensen.

Cousins Tom and Cody Krause (15 and 13 years, respectively) reported their 
finding to Minnesota Sea Grant on Thursday, July 23, after reading a July 20 
Duluth News-Tribune article.  The article described how scientists found nine 
gobies in the harbor during June, and included contact information.

As avid anglers, the Krauses often fish together for yellow perch.  They caught 
83 round gobies during the week of July 20, east of the Tourist Information 
Center along the railroad grade that parallels Highway 2.  They gave a sample to
Sea Grant for confirmation.  

"Anglers are often the first to find new infestations," said Jensen. "We are 
concerned because this new infestation increases the potential for accidental 
spread by anglers to other waters.

"The other big news is that gobies now infest all of the Great Lakes," said 
Jensen.  "Lake Ontario was the lone hold-out until this month.  Infestations in 
the first two North American inland lakes were also found this summer." 

Gobies are considered undesirable because they compete with native fishes for 
habitat,  disrupt the aquatic ecosystem, and are a nuisance to anglers.  The 
goby is an aggressive, small, bottom-dwelling fish that is mostly slate-gray, 
with frog-like raised eyes, a prominent black spot on the dorsal (top) fin, and 
a distinctive, fused, scallop-shaped pelvic (bottom) fin.  Identification cards 
are available in most Sea Grant and natural resource agency offices around the 
Great Lakes.

Round gobies were first discovered in North America in 1990 in the St. Clair 
River near Detroit. They were introduced through ballast water discharged by 
transoceanic ships coming from the gobies' native waters in the Caspian Sea and 
Black Sea in the Baltic region of Eurasia.  Round gobies were first found in 
Lake Superior in the summer of 1995.

"To minimize their spread, possession of live round gobies by anglers is illegal
in most of the Great Lakes states and Ontario," said Jay Rendall, Exotic Species
Program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  "In 
Minnesota, it is illegal to possess or transport round gobies.  However, it is 
legal to possess a frozen goby with the intent to transport it to a local office
for positive identification."

The Krauses caught the gobies using a small, green, ant-style jig, tipped with a
piece of angleworm.  Water depth at the site ranges from 2 to 4 feet.  The 
bottom is covered with gravel and cobble.  "Along with breakwalls and riprap, 
this is perfect round goby habitat," said Jensen.  The gobies came from a 
reproducing population--there were mature males, females, and young gobies.

Anyone who catches a round goby in Lake Superior or any inland lake should not 
throw it back alive.  They should kill the fish by freezing and contact 
Minnesota Sea Grant at (218) 726-8712, the fisheries office of a local natural 
resource agency, or a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office.
                                    --30--

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The sighting by Tom and Cody Krause is one of ten confirmed in the upper Great 
Lakes this summer and reported to Sea Grant, including the first infestations of
Lake Ontario and inland lakes.  These sightings (by date) are:

1. Mott Reservoir, MI, June 11.  An angler's report was confirmed by a 
University of Michigan scientist, who found an established population. This is 
the first inland lake infestation in North America.

2. Wolf Lake, IN, June 29.  A young angler and two adults caught 21 gobies.  
This is the second lake infestation in North America.

3. Monroe Harbor, Chicago, IL, late June.  Two adults caught several gobies.  
This sighting indicates gobies are spreading north along the western shoreline 
of Lake Michigan.

4. Jackson Park Harbor, Chicago, IL, this summer.  The Illinois Department of 
Natural Resources caught several gobies, which indicates farther northern spread
along the western shoreline of Lake Michigan.

5. Escanaba, MI, early July.  A young angler caught six.  This represents the 
first confirmed sighting in northern Lake Michigan and was probably a ballast 
water introduction.

6. Port Bruce, Ontario, July 10.  an angler caught a goby in Lake Erie.  This 
was confirmed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
 
7. Duluth-Superior harbor, July 13.  The U.S. Geological Survey reported 
catching nine gobies during bottom trawls in five locations off Minnesota Point.

8. Port Dalhouise, St. Catherines, Ontario, July 15.  An angler caught a goby 
near the Niagara Regional Municipality in Lake Ontario.  The is the first 
sighting reported for Lake Ontario. It was confirmed by the Ontario Federation 
of Anglers and Hunters.

9. Duluth-Superior harbor, July 20. Krause sighting (described above).

10. Bass Islands, Lake Erie, July 30.  A researcher found a well-established 
population surrounding the islands.