September 13-20, 2004

Round goby catch near Lake Simcoe marks second inland sighting in Ontario

Ontario Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay is asking recreational anglers and other stakeholders to be vigilant and report any sightings of round goby after one of the invasive fish was caught in Pefferlaw Brook, some three kilometres from Lake Simcoe, in early August.

"The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, partners in the Invading Species program, are very concerned about this and are monitoring the situation," said Ramsay. "We are asking anglers, the baitfish industry and other stakeholders to work with us to help make sure this aggressive species doesn't spread further to our inland lakes and rivers."

First discovered in Ontario in the St Clair River in 1990, gobies are now present in all of the Great Lakes. They were found in the Trent River last summer and the discovery of a round goby in Pefferlaw Brook marks the second inland sighting in Ontario.

"It is clear we need to assess the extent of the current goby distribution in the waterway and look at potential options for controlling its spread," said Mike Reader, executive director of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).

Under the Invading Species program, OFAH is sending information about round gobies to bait shops, marinas and resorts in the Lake Simcoe area to alert residents and resource users.

Round gobies are usually less than 25 cm (10 inches) long, mottled brown in colour, with frog-like eyes and a single fused pelvic fin that resembles a suction cup. They are quite prolific, spawning several times per season, and can displace native fish by eating their eggs and young.

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