Round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) were introduced to the Great Lakes presumably as a result of ballast water releases from seagoing freighters returning from European water bodies. These unwelcome fish have become established in the Great Lakes region and are expanding their range to suitable portions of other interior drainage basins including the Mississippi River traversing the central United States and the Trent-Severn waterway spanning south-central Ontario. If the invasion continues, use of chemical toxicants as a control measure may be necessary. Toxicity tests of the currently registered piscicides antimycin, rotenone, 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM), and Bayluscide?? were conducted with three fish species native to the Great Lakes and round gobies collected from the Illinois Waterway. Tests indicated that round gobies are sensitive to all of the piscicides, however, the level of sensitivity is similar to that of the native fish species tested. Therefore, currently registered piscicides have limited potential to selectively remove round gobies. Bottom-release formulations of Bayluscide?? and antimycin were also evaluated as control agents for the normally bottom-dwelling round goby. Avoidance behavior tests demonstrated that the round goby did not react to the presence of either chemical. Therefore, the bottom-release formulations may have some application for the selective removal of round gobies, and may be one of the few tools presently available to fishery managers to help limit the range expansion of this invasive fish.
Additional publication details
Effectiveness of piscicides for controlling round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus)