Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814)

Common Name: Round Goby

Synonyms and Other Names:

Apollonia melanostoma (Pallas, 1814), Apollonia melanostomus (Pallas, 1814); see Stepien and Tumeo (2006) for name change, and Stepien and Neilson (2013) for clarification on taxonomy and nomenclature.

Zak Slagle, Ohio Department of Natural ResourcesCopyright Info

Eric Engbretson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceCopyright Info

Center for Great Lakes and Aquatic Sciences Archive, University of Michigan, Bugwood.orgCopyright Info

Identification: Distinguishing characteristics have been given by Berg (1949), Miller (1986), Crossman et al. (1992), Marsden and Jude (1995), and Hubbs et al. (2004). Young round gobies are solid slate gray. Older fish are blotched with black and brown and have a white to greenish dorsal fin with a black spot at the posterior base. This goby is superficially similar to native sculpins but can be distinguished by the presence of fused pelvic fins (sculpins have two separate fins) (Marsden and Jude 1995; Hubbs et al. 2004).

Size: 30.5 cm; 17.8 cm maximum seen in United States

Native Range: Freshwater, prefers brackish (Stepien and Tumeo 2006). Eurasia including Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and Sea of Azov and tributaries (Miller 1986).

Great Lakes Nonindigenous Occurrences: This species was introduced into the St. Clair River and vicinity on the Michigan-Ontario border where several collections were made in 1990 on both the U.S. and the Canadian side (Jude et al. 1992; D. J. Jude and D. Nelson, personal communication). By 1994 the species had spread to the north end of Lake St. Clair at Anchor Bay. Gobies have been taken inland in the Shiawasse and Flint rivers since August 1996 and June 1997, respectively, and the River Raisin in 1999 (D. Jude, personal communication). In 1998, the goby was reported from numerous places along the eastern shore of Michigan in Lake Huron such as Lexington, Tawas City, and Thunder Bay River (Hintz 2000, A. Hintz, personal communication). Gobies have also been collected in Michigan's upper peninsula at Port Inland and in Little Bay De Noc (G. Madison, personal communication). They have also been collected in the upper peninsula ports of Kipling and Escanaba, and the northeastern port of Charlevoix (Clapp et al. 2001) as well as Lake Michigan and the Saginaw River (Czypinski et al. 2000; Hintz 2000). Established in Muskegon Lake (Alexander 2004). In 1994, the Round Goby began appearing in southern Lake Michigan near the Calumet-Chicago area of Illinois (T. Cavender, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, personal communication; P. Thiel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Onalaska, WI, personal communication). Neogobius melanostomus also has been documented to occur in lower Lake Michigan at the ports of Muskegon, Grand Haven, and Saugatuck (Clapp et al. 2001). In 1999, the goby was near the confluence of the Calumet-Sag Channel and the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal (F. Veraldi, personal communication). Collected in the La Grange reach of the river between Beardstown and Peoria in 2004 (K. Irons, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL, personal communication). It was first collected in Indiana from the Grand Calumet River in 1993 (J. Francis, personal communication). The following year it was taken in Hammond Harbor (J. Francis and T. Lauer, personal communication); then in the Port of Indiana and East Chicago in 1996 (J. Francis, personal communication), in Wolf Lake (P. Charlebois, personal communication), and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Tilmant 1999). Gobies have been reported from Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Huron, Iosco, Mackinac, Monroe, Ottowa, Saginaw, Schoolcraft, and Wayne Counties, Michigan (Bowen, unpublished data). In 1993, it was collected at Fairport Harbor in Lake Erie, and from the mouth of the Grand River in Lake County, Ohio (Knight 1994). Annual surveys are collecting gobies from Lake Erie at Conneaut, Ashtabula, Cleveland, and Sandusky, Ohio (Czypinski et al. 2002; S. Keppner, personal communication). In 1994, the species was taken from the lake offshore at depths of 70 feet, and reportedly from Lorain Harbor in Lorain County, Ohio, 60 miles west of Fairport, although there are no vouchers to confirm this location (T. Cavender, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, personal communication). It is established in Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge (USFWS 2005). This species was also collected in the Maumee and Cuyahoga Rivers (Czypinski et al. 2002). The Round Goby was first reported from Pennsylvania in October 1996, in Lake Erie off Walnut Creek, just west of the city of Erie (C. Murray, personal communication) and later collected in Lake Erie in ruffe surveys (Czypinski et al. 2000; Czypinski et al. 2002). In 2001 and 2002, a study found that several Pennsylvania tributaries of Lake Erie had established populations of Round Goby: Elk Creek, Twentymile Creek, Walnut Creek, and Sixteen Mile Creek (Phillips et al. 2003). In July 1995, a single individual was collected from Wisconsin waters of the St. Louis Bay, Lake Superior, on the Minnesota-Wisconsin state line in a trawl (T. Busiahn, personal communication); This species was also collected in the St. Louis River estuary from 1999-2001 (Czypinski et al. 2000; Czypinski et al. 2002). In May 1996, the first single adult was taken in Duluth Harbor, Minnesota. By 1999, gobies were found in several other locations within the harbor (D. Jensen, personal communication). There was an unconfirmed report of a Round Goby in eastern Lake Ontario, New York, during the summer of 1995. Reports of gobies in eastern Lake Erie in Buffalo, New York were confirmed in 1998 (Czypinski et al. 2002; S. Keppner, personal communication). They have been reported in the Erie Canal, Buffalo River, St. Lawrence River, Genesee River, Tonowanda Creek, and Lake Ontario in 2004 and 2005 (Goehle, unpublished data). Gobies have also been found in the Welland Canal near Welland, Ontario, Canada (Anonymous, personal communication). The first confirmed collection of a Round Goby in Lake Ontario occurred in July 1998. A single fish was collected at Port Dalhousie at the mouth of the Welland Canal in Ontario, Canada (C. Scobie, personal communication). Gobies were collected in Lake Huron in 1994 at Goderich, Ontario. They have since been collected near Bayfield, Grand Bend, and Port Franks, Ontario (A. Dextrase, personal communication). Along the north shore of Lake Erie, gobies have been reported from Colchester, Point Pelee, Port Glasgow, Port Bruce, and Port Burwell, Ontario. A single goby was taken in the St. Lawrence River near Quebec, Quebec in 1997 (L. Lapierre, personal communication). In July 1999, a goby was collected in northeastern Lake Ontario in the Bay of Quinte (R. Dermott, personal communication).

Table 1. Great Lakes region nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state/province, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Neogobius melanostomus are found here.

Full list of USGS occurrences

State/ProvinceFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
IL199320183Lake Michigan; Little Calumet-Galien; Pike-Root
IN199420202Lake Michigan; Little Calumet-Galien
MI1990202045Au Gres-Rifle; Au Sable; Betsie-Platte; Betsy-Chocolay; Birch-Willow; Black-Macatawa; Boardman-Charlevoix; Brevoort-Millecoquins; Carp-Pine; Cass; Cedar-Ford; Cheboygan; Clinton; Detroit; Fishdam-Sturgeon; Flint; Huron; Kalamazoo; Kawkawlin-Pine; Lake Erie; Lake Huron; Lake Michigan; Lake St. Clair; Lake Superior; Little Calumet-Galien; Lone Lake-Ocqueoc; Lower Grand; Manistee; Manistique; Menominee; Muskegon; Ottawa-Stony; Pere Marquette-White; Pigeon-Wiscoggin; Pine; Raisin; Saginaw; Shiawassee; St. Clair; St. Joseph; St. Marys; Tacoosh-Whitefish; Thunder Bay; Tittabawassee; Upper Grand
MN199620153Baptism-Brule; Lake Superior; St. Louis
NY1998202017Black; Buffalo-Eighteenmile; Cattaraugus; Chaumont-Perch; Chautauqua-Conneaut; Headwaters St. Lawrence River; Irondequoit-Ninemile; Lake Erie; Lake Ontario; Lower Genesee; Niagara; Oak Orchard-Twelvemile; Oneida; Oswego; Raisin River-St. Lawrence River; Salmon-Sandy; Seneca
OH1993201910Ashtabula-Chagrin; Black-Rocky; Cedar-Portage; Chautauqua-Conneaut; Cuyahoga; Grand; Lake Erie; Lower Maumee; Ottawa-Stony; Sandusky
PA199620202Chautauqua-Conneaut; Lake Erie
WI1995201912Beartrap-Nemadji; Door-Kewaunee; Duck-Pensaukee; Lake Michigan; Lower Fox; Manitowoc-Sheboygan; Menominee; Milwaukee; Oconto; Peshtigo; Pike-Root; St. Louis

Table last updated 1/20/2021

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for areas where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

Ecology: The Round Goby perches on rocks and other substrates in shallow areas, yet it has also been reported to flourish in a variety of habitat types including open sandy areas and in abundant aquatic macrophytes (Jude and DeBoe 1996; Clapp et al. 2001). This goby also has a well developed sensory system that enhances its ability to detect water movement. This allows it to feed in complete darkness, giving it an advantage over other fish in the same habitat (Wisconsin Sea Grant 2008). The zebra mussel may have facilitated the invasion of the Round Goby and other Eurasian species by providing an abundant food source (Ricciardi and MacIsaac 2000).

Means of Introduction: Introduced into the Great Lakes from the Black Sea via freighter ballast. Spread to Lake Superior by freighters operating within the Great Lakes. Round Goby distribution in the Baltic Sea was partially determined by shipping activity, thus it is likely the same applies to the Great Lakes populations (Kotta et al. 2016).

Status: Already spread to all five Great Lakes, with large populations in Lakes Erie and Ontario. Likely to find suitable habitat throughout Lake Erie and in all Great Lakes waters at depths less than 60 m (USEPA 2008). Established outside of the Great Lakes basin in 1994 (Dennison, personal communication), and in 2010 spread into the lower Illinois River (K. Irons, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL, personal communication)

Round Goby was considered extremely abundant in the St. Clair River in 1994. Short trawls made in Lake Erie in October 1994 turned up 200 individuals. Frequent trawling in 1995 collected over 3,000 individuals near Fairport Harbor, Ohio (Knight, personal communication). Densities in Calumet Harbor exceed 20 per square meter (Marsden and Jude 1995). Gravid females and different size classes have been found in Lake Erie (T. Cavender, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, personal communication). In Lake Superior, primarily established in Duluth-Superior Harbor and lower St. Louis River, and absent from the remainder of the western portion of the lake (Bergstrom et al., 2008)

Great Lakes Impacts: Neogobius melanostomus has a high environmental impact in the Great Lakes.

The numbers of native fish species have declined in areas where the Round Goby has become abundant (Crossman et al. 1992). In laboratory experiments, this species has been found to prey on darters and other small fishes, as well as Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) eggs and fry. It may feed on eggs and fry of sculpin (Cottus spp.), darters, and Logperch (Percina caprodes) (Marsden and Jude 1995) and has also been found to have a significant overlap in diet preference with many native fish species. It competes with Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum), Logperch, and the endangered Northern Madtom (Noturus stigmosus) for small macroinvertebrates (French and Jude 2001).

In a study of Lake Erie tributaries in New York, caddisflies and mayflies were more abundant and more taxonomically diverse, respectively, in streams without Round Goby, indicating that the gobies’ consumptive behavior has had an impact on invertebrate communities in this area (Krakowiak and Pennuto 2008). As the Round Goby expanded and established its range in Green Bay, Lake Michigan (2003-2006), reduction in populations of zebra mussel, quagga mussel, isopods, amphipods, trichopterans, and gastropods were observed (Lederer et al. 2006).

Shelters inhabited by Round Goby are similar to those of Logperch and, in experiments, Round Goby was a more aggressive and successful competitor for this limited space, regardless of which species had prior residence of the habitat (Balshine et al. 2005).

Mottled Sculpin (Cottus bairdii) has been particularly affected since the establishment of N. melanostomus (Marsden and Jude 1995). This is almost certainly due to competition from large Round Goby (greater than 100 mm) for spawning sites, from medium Round Goby (60-100 mm) for space, and from small Round Goby (less than 60 mm) for food (Janssen and Jude 2001). Janssen and Jude (2001) argued that the main cause of the dramatic decline in the native Mottled Sculpin population is due to nesting interference with Round Goby; the other competition factors have a less severe impact, though they acknowledge the need for further research on food competition. Adult Round Gobies aggressively defend spawning sites and occupy prime spawning areas, keeping natives out (Dubs and Corkum 1996, Marsden and Jude 1995). In Calumet Harbor, there has been an absence of Mottled Sculpin nests and age-0 fish since 1994, coinciding with N. melanostomus establishment (Janssen and Jude 2001). Neogobius melanostomus and C. bairdii both take daytime refuge from predators under rocks, emerging to feed nocturnally (Dubs and Corkum 1996). This space competition could displace C. bairdii into deeper and unprotected spaces where they can easily be predated. Competition for food between N. melanostomus and C. bairdii occurs most heavily when they are young (less than 60 mm). This is due to the overlap of an arthropod diet at this age (Janessen and Jude 2001).

Laboratory experiments have shown that the more aggressive N. melanostomus will evict C. bairdii from rock shelters that are being used for spawning or daytime predator evasion (Dubs and Corkum 1996). In trials where round goby was introduced into tanks with Mottled Sculpin residents, the gobies approached and chased the resident sculpin (Dubs and Corkum 1996). When sculpin was released into resident Round Goby tanks, the sculpin were chased and bitten (Dubs and Corkum 1996). Sculpin did not exhibit any aggressive behavior towards the Round Goby in any scenario (Dubs and Corkum 1996).

Although Round Goby has become a food source for some native species, some negative offsets exist. It is widely speculated that Round Goby, via predation on zebra mussel, likely has the ability to facilitate the bioaccumulation of contaminants up the food chain to benthic-oriented piscivores that feed on Round Goby, although experimental results with various contaminants vary (Hogan et al. 2007; Morrison et al. 2000; Ng et al. 2008). Furthermore, Round Goby is an inferior prey for other forage fish in terms of conferred energy (3.2 kJ/g compared to 5 kJ/g average for clupeids, Rainbow Smelt (Osmerus mordax), and shiners; Johnson et al. 2005).

Neogobius melanostomus introductions may also be a vector for the spread of avian botulism. The change in behavior of infected N. melanostomus may make it a preferred prey item for piscivorous birds (Yule et al. 2006). In Lake Erie, botulism infected birds had been feeding more on Round Goby compared to uninfected birds (Corkum et al. 2004).

Round Goby may be a significant concern for threatened or endangered species. In particular, Round Goby currently occupies the Thames and Sydenham rivers in Ontario, two sites with some of the highest diversities of at-risk aquatic species in Canada (Poos et al. 2010). Poos et al. (2010) analyzed the known and suspected impacts of Round Goby invasion on 19 small benthic fishes and 36 mussels found in Canadian tributaries based on the previous literature. They determined that 17 of 19 fishes are known or suspected to have been impacted by competition with or predation by Round Goby, including the endangered Northern Madtom (Notorus stigmosus) and the threatened Eastern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta pellucida). Furthermore, 6 of 36 freshwater mussel species are suspected to be indirectly impacted by Round Goby invasion, 5 of which have conservation status in Canada or globally. These potential indirect impacts are attributed to the dependence of native mussels on host fishes which may be directly impacted by Round Goby invasion (Poos et al. 2010).

There is also the potential for the Round Goby to become more widely distributed in inshore habitats—especially those with plant cover—of the lower Great Lakes, as evidenced around the inshore areas of the Black and Caspian seas; however, in winter this species can migrate to depths of 50–60 m (Jude et al. 1992).

Neogobius melanostomus has a high socio-economic impact in the Great Lakes.

The invasion of Round Goby into Lake Erie has had very real environmental and economic impacts. The State of Ohio has shut down the Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) fishery in Lake Erie during the months of May and June because high predation rates on nests are affecting smallmouth recruitment. Under normal circumstances, male Smallmouth Bass guard nests and are effective in keeping Round Goby away. When males are removed, the Round Goby immediately invades and has been shown to eat up to 4,000 eggs within 15 minutes. The months of May and June normally account for 50 percent of the total smallmouth catch in Lake Erie, so there will be a considerable loss in funds generated by recreational fishers (National Invasive Species Council 2004).

One study of Smallmouth Bass fishing in the Niagara River did not detect any negative correlation between Round Goby catch rate and Smallmouth Bass catch rate; however, it was a 1-year study and thus lacked the scope needed for comparative analysis over time (Dunning et al. 2006). Interestingly, it was noted in this survey-based study that Round Goby catches led to a perception of poor fishing quality and frustration among anglers (Dunning et al. 2006).

Walleye (Sander vitreus) anglers in Detroit report that, at times, all they can catch are gobies, which eagerly attack bait (Marsden and Jude 1995).

There is little or no evidence to support that Neogobius melanostomus has significant beneficial effects in the Great Lakes.

The diet of larger Round Goby consists mainly of zebra mussel, which no other fish species of the Great Lakes consumes so heavily, meaning that a significant gap in the food web is lessened (Vanderploeg et al. 2002; Johnson et al. 2005). Round Goby appeared to make up approximately 75% of Burbot (Lota lota) and Smallmouth Bass diet in Lake Erie and 36% of Lake Trout diet in Lake Ontario, indicating that a new energy source may be travelling up the food chain (Dietrich et al. 2006, Johnson et al. 2005). Round Goby also supplements the diet of Yellow Perch (Weber et al. 2011).

However, many of these positive impacts are offset due to reciprocated predation by Round Goby on larval piscivores, potential contaminant magnification up the food chain, and the diminished energy source provided by Round Goby prey (see negative environmental impacts). Furthermore, while zebra mussel predation allows Round Goby to uniquely exploit a resource, which could fuel a population explosion, Round Goby predation was estimated to impact only about 1% of the dreissenid population in Lake Erie (Johnson 2005, Vanderploeg et al. 2002).

Management: Regulations (pertaining to the Great Lakes region)
In Ohio (OAC Chapter 1501:31-19) is is unlawful for any person to possess, import or sell live Round Gobies. Michigan (MI NREPA 451, Section 324.41301) and Minnesota (MN Administrative Rules, 6216.0250 Prohibited) list Round Goby as a prohibited species. Illinois (IL Administrative Code 17Ib805.20c) lists round gobies as an injurious species. In Pennsylvania (58 PA Code §71.6), it is illegal to possess, import or introduce Round Gobies. New York (6 NYCRR Part 10, Paragraph 10.1(c)(3)) prohibits the use of Round Gobies as bait. Indiana (312 IAC 9-6-7) lists Round Goby as an exotic fish – an individual must not import, possess, propagate, buy, sell, barter, trade, transfer, loan, or release into public or private waters any exotic fish (including recently hatched or juvenile live fish or their viable eggs or genetic material).

Note: Check federal, state/provincial, and local regulations for the most up-to-date information.

Although many other species consume Round Goby, no effective and species-specific biocontrol has been identified. Among other species, native Burbot are being investigated for their potential to control goby populations (Madenjian et al. 2011).


The IJC (2011) recommends rotenone for control of Round Goby in rapid response scenarios. Of the four chemical piscicides registered for use in the United States, antimycin A and rotenone are considered “general” piscicides, but no studies have been found of their effects on Neogobius melanostomus (GLMRIS 2012).

Increasing CO2 concentrations, either by bubbling pressurized gas directly into water or by the addition of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) has been used to sedate fish with minimal residual toxicity, and is a potential method of harvesting fish for removal, though maintaining adequate CO2 concentrations may be difficult in large/natural water bodies (Clearwater et al. 2008). CO2 is approved only for use as an anesthetic for cold, cool, and warm water fishes the US, not for use as euthanasia, and exposure to NaHCO3 concentration of 142-642 mg/L for 5 min. is sufficient to anaesthetize most fish (Clearwater et al. 2008).

It should be noted that chemical treatment will often lead to non-target kills, and so all options for management of a species should be adequately studied before a decision is made to use piscicides or other chemicals. Potential effects on non-target plants and organisms, including macroinvertebrates and other fishes, should always be deliberately evaluated and analyzed. The effects of combinations of management chemicals and other toxicants, whether intentional or unintentional, should be understood prior to chemical treatment. Other non-selective alterations of water quality, such as reducing dissolved oxygen levels or altering pH, could also have a deleterious impact on native fish, invertebrates, and other fauna or flora, and their potential harmful effects should therefore be evaluated thoroughly.

Electrical barriers may be successful at limiting the movement of Round Gobies. In tank studies, Round Gobies did not move through such a barrier (Savino et al. 2001).

Rollo et al. (2007) reported Round Gobies will approach a speaker emitting conspecific male calls in the field, and female Round Gobies showed significant attractions to speakers emitting conspecific male calls in the laboratory. Therefore Round Goby phonotaxis could be used to lure gravid females to traps. As Round Gobies will spawn multiple times throughout late spring and summer, they should remain receptive to male calls and bioacoustic capture for the entire breeding season.

Ochs et al. (2013) found no response to putative Round Goby pheromones by several syntopic Great Lakes native centrarchids and percids, indicating the potential for pheromone trapping as a viable control method.

Note: Check state/provincial and local regulations for the most up-to-date information regarding permits for control methods. Follow all label instructions.

Remarks: The diet of Round Gobies collected in the United States consists of aquatic insects, zebra mussels, and some native snails. Studies have shown a single goby can eat as many as 78 zebra mussels per day. This goby is a very pugnacious fish that feeds voraciously, and, as such, it may prey on the young of other deepwater bottom dwellers such as sculpins, darters, and Logperch. Its well-developed lateral line may help it out compete natives for food in the murky Great Lakes waters. Its pugnacious appetite is not reserved solely for other species; Round Goby males are known to eat other males eggs when they take over a spawning ground (Janssen and Jude 2001, and references within). Adult Round Goby also have been known to feed on smaller conspecifics.

Pettitt-Wade et al. (2015) examined trophic niche breadth, plasticity, and overlap between Round and Tubenose gobies in Lakes Superior and St. Clair using stable isotope analysis. They found a higher isotopic trophic position and generally higher isotopic nichc breadth and plasticity in Round Goby, with little overlap between size-matched Round and Tubenose gobies, and suggested that this increased isotopic niche breadth and plasticity has assisted in the establishement success of Round Goby in the Great Lakes (widely abundant and distributed vs. low abundance and localized distribution of tubenose goby).

The Round Goby's aggressive nature may allow individuals to dominate prime spawning sites, making these sites unavailable to natives. There is a long spawning period during which individuals can spawn every 20 days, while they aggressively defend their nests (Jude et al. 1992). Although early researchers expected introduced round gobies to be restricted to near-shore rocky or weedy habitats, the species has since been captured at depths as great as 21.5 m (T. Cavender, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, personal communication). Divers have found an unusual characteristic of N. melanostomus. When divers overturn rocks to expose Round Gobies in their daytime shelters, more gobies come to the site to feed on exposed prey but also to observe the divers (Janssen and Jude 2001). Yet if a predator approaches, such as a Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) or a Rock Bass (Amploplites rupestris), the gobies will seek shelter (Janssen and Jude 2001).

Although the species exhibits two pigmentation morphs and investigations were planned to determine whether more than one introduction of Neogobius occurred in the Great Lakes (T. Cavender, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, personal communication), only N. melanostomus has been observed.

Introduced populations of Round Goby in the Great Lakes show reduced diversity and numbers of parasites compared to populations from its native range as well as to native Great Lakes fishes, providing some support for the 'enemy release hypothesis' for invasion success (Kvach and Stepien 2008; Gendron et al. 2012). However, Gendron et al. (2012) found that gobies from Lake St. Clair (one of the earliest introduced populations) showed an increase in parasite diversity and density over time.

Round Goby has been shown to exhibit phenotypic plasticity in some life history characteristics, such as reproductive traits like number and size of mature oocytes, and this plasticity has been suggested to enhance establishment success at invasion fronts (Hôrková and Kovác 2015). Phenotypic plasticity has also been shown in Round Goby to maintain or regain homeostasis after rapid temperature changes, thus increasing its invasion success (Wellband and Heath 2017).

Coulter et al. (2015) examined the influence of various habitat characteristics (e.g., wetlands vs open water, productivity, zooplankton and fish community diversity) on the abundance of Round Goby at several sites in Lakes Michigan and Huron, finding that catch per unit effort was generally related to biological productivity but the direction and strength of the relationship varied across sites.

Adrian-Kalchhauser et al. (2017) suggest that there is no direct evidence for the direct attachment of egg clutches by Round Goby to aquatic vessels, a commonly suggested introduction vector for Ponto-Caspian gobiids, and that this concept should be treated as an untested hypothesis.

Round Goby is one of the most frequently found prey items in the diet of the Double-Crested Cormorant in the southern basin of Lake Michigan (Madura and Jones 2016).

Voucher specimens: Ohio (OSM, UF 98888); Michigan (UMMZ); Illinois (INHS). Indiana (INHS, UMMZ 224874). Voucher specimens from the Canadian side of the St. Clair River (UMMZ 217682, 218279; ROM 60675); Lake Ontario (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Peterborough, Ontario).

References: (click for full references)

Adrian-Kalchhauser, I., A. N'Guyen, P.E. Hirsch, and P. Burkhardt-Holm. 2017. The invasive round goby may attach its eggs to ships or boats – but there is no evidence. Aquatic Invasions 12(2):263-267.

Alexander, J. 2004. Goby population explodes in Lakes. Everything Michigan (November 13, 2004)

Anonymous. - Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

Balshine, S., A. Verma, V. Chant, and T. Theysmeyer. 2005. Competitive interactions between round gobies and logperch. Journal of Great Lakes Research 31(1):68-77.

Berg, L.S. 1948-1949. Freshwater fishes of the U.S.S.R. and adjacent countries, 4th edition. Three volumes. Translated from Russian, 1962-1965, for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, by Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, Israel. Volume 1:504 pp.; volume 2:496 pp.; volume 3:510 pp.

Bergstrom, M.A., L.M. Evrard, and A.F. Mensinger. 2008. Distribution, abundance, and range of the round goby, Apollonia melanostoma, in the Duluth-Superior Harbor and St. Louis River Estuary 1998-2004. Journal of Great Lakes Research 34:535-543.

Bowen, A. - US Fish and Wildlife Service, Alpena, MI.

Bradshaw-Wilson, C., J. Stauffer, J. Wisor, K. Clark, and S. Mueller. 2019. Documentation of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) in the diet of round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) within the French Creek watershed, Pennsylvania. The American Midland Naturalist 181(2):259-270.

Burkett, E.M., and D.J. Jude. 2015. Long-term impacts of invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus on fish community diversity and diets in the St. Clair River, Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41(3):862-872.

Busiahn, T. - US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ashland, WI.

Charlebois, P. - Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Zion, IL.

Clapp, D.F., P.J. Schneeberger, D.J. Jude, G. Madison, and C. Pistis. 2001. Monitoring round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) population expansion in eastern and northern Lake Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research 27(3):335-341.

Clearwater, S.J., C.W. Hickey, and M.L. Martin. 2008. Overview of potential piscicides and molluscicides for controlling aquatic pest species in New Zealand. Science & Technical Publishing, New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.

Corkum, L.D., M.R. Sapota, and K.E. Skora. 2004. The round goby, Neogobius melanostomus, a fish invader on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Biological Invasions 6:173-181.

Coulter, D.P., B.A. Murry, and D.G. Uzarski. 2015. Relationships between habitat characteristics and round goby abundance in Lake Michigan and Huron. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41(3):890-897.

Crane, D.P., and D.W. Einhouse. 2016. Changes in growth and diet of smallmouth bass following invasion of Lake Erie by the round goby. Journal of Great Lakes Research 42(2):405-412.

Crossman, E.J., E. Holm, R. Cholmondeley, and K. Tuininga. 1992. First record for Canada of the rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus, and notes on the introduced round goby, Neogobius melanostomus. Canadian Field-Naturalist 106(2):206-209.

Czypinski, G.D., A.K. Hintz, M.T. Weimer, and A. Dextrase. 2000. Surveillance for ruffe in the Great Lakes, 1999. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ashland, WI. 29 pp.

Czypinski, G.D., A.K. Bowen, M.T. Weimer, and A. Dextrase. 2002. Surveillance for ruffe in the Great Lakes, 2001. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ashland, WI. 36 pp.

Dennison, S. - Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Dermott, R. - Fisheries and Oceans, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Dextrase, A. - Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Dietrich, J.P., B.J. Morrison, and J.A. Hoyle. 2006. Alternative ecological pathways in the eastern Lake Ontario food web—round goby in the diet of lake trout. Journal of Great Lakes Research 32(2):395-400.

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Author: Fuller, P., Benson, A., Maynard, E., Neilson, M.E., Larson, J., and Fusaro, A.

Contributing Agencies:

Revision Date: 12/5/2019

Peer Review Date: 1/7/2016

Citation for this information:
Fuller, P., Benson, A., Maynard, E., Neilson, M.E., Larson, J., and Fusaro, A., 2021, Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, and NOAA Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System, Ann Arbor, MI,, Revision Date: 12/5/2019, Peer Review Date: 1/7/2016, Access Date: 1/20/2021

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.