Habitat use and diet of the round goby (neogobius melanostomus) in coastal areas of lake michigan and lake huron

Matthew J. Cooper, Carl R. Ruetz, Donald G. Uzarski, Betsy M. Shafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The non-indigenous round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) has caused considerable impact in the Laurentian Great Lakes. We sampled round gobies in shoreline habitats and tributary systems of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to determine patterns of habitat use and diet, including the extent dreissenid mussels were consumed. Along the shoreline, round goby catch did not significantly differ based on the presence of emergent vegetation, but deeper habitats were preferred relative to shallow areas closer to shore. In tributary systems, submersed aquatic vegetation in coastal lakes was preferred. The majority of round gobies were small, generally between 3 and 7 cm, and had diets comprised mainly of zooplankton and dipterans with few dreissenids. Our results indicate that the round goby has invaded coastal areas inconsistently across habitat types and that the species can proliferate in the absence of dreissenid mussels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-488
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Freshwater Ecology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

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