I am from a town with two lakes, Lake Michigan and its one of its tributaries Muskegon Lake. They have been a fishing destination for the most part of my life. As an avid fisherman, I can say that fishing in Lake Michigan or a tributary of Lake Michigan in Muskegon Lake angers me when compared with other lakes. The problem I have comes through a bothersome, ample species: The Goby.
When fishing in Lake Michigan or its tributaries around Muskegon with a live worm, I don’t have much fun. I w set my fishing pole in the water briefly and within seconds I will have a tiny Goby (only about an inch or two long) on my line, which is no fun to reel in. They never stop biting and seem to be endless. You cannot eat or clean them because they are very tiny. Goby are very pesky because they are so small, hard to hook, and often steal my bait. We are supposed to kill every single Goby caught.
The Gobies gained access into the Great Lakes and its tributaries in 1990. They came from the Black and Caspian Sea areas of Eastern Europe. They got to the Great Lakes via big ships and vessels. Gobies look as portrayed, “Round Gobies can reach up to 10 inches in length as adults, but usually they are less than 7 inches long in the Great Lakes. Females and immature male round Gobies are a mottled gray and brown color. Spawning males turn almost solid black. Round Gobies have a soft body and a large, rounded head with eyes that protrude near the top” (USGS).
So what is the problem with Gobies and why are they such a big deal? I personally have noticed that they spawn like crazy, eat other species food and eggs, and survive in almost all climates. To prove my observation “Once round gobies arrive they can become the dominant fish species. Round Gobies prefer rocky, shallow areas, but have flourished in a variety of habitat types. Regardless of the habitat, round Gobies are very aggressive fish that compete with native fishes for food and space. Anglers who fish in areas with round Gobies often find that the gobies steal their bait and appear to be the only type of fish in the area”(USGS). Gobies make it hard for fish close to extinction to survive and affect the population of other fish previously thriving.
http://www.glsc.usgs.gov/main.php?content=research_invasive_goby&title=Invasive%20Fish0&menu=research_invasive_fish (Round Goby: An Exotic fish in the Great Fact Sheet)