The Tubenose Goby is a bottom-dwelling invasive fish native to the rivers and estuaries of the Black and Caspian seas in Eurasia. First observed in the St. Clair River in the late 1980s, Tubenose Gobies were likely introduced to North America through ballast water from ocean-going ships. It is now found in a few locations in the Great Lakes.
Preferring waters near the shores of lakes and rivers where they can hide among aquatic plants, Tubenose Gobies compete with bottom-dwelling species such as Rainbow Darters (Etheostoma caeruleum) and Northern Madtoms (Noturus stigmosus) for insects, shellfish and worms while also preying on young native fish.
Female Tubenose Gobies are prolific spawners, spawning multiple times during warmer weather, and the males guard their nesting sites to defend the eggs and protect the young fish. Although the males die after spawning, the females live up to five years.
Since their arrival in the Great Lakes, Tubenose Gobies have caused minimal impacts in the great Lakes compared to Round Gobies (Neogobius melanostomus), which arrived around the same time. The population of Round Gobies has escalated while the population of Tubenose Gobies has seen limited growth.
No control methods currently exist.
Tubenose Gobies are located most abundantly in the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair. They have also been found in Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Superior at Thunder Bay and Duluth Harbour, Minnesota. Tubenose Gobies have been observed in the St. Lawrence River near Kingston.
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