September 27, 2013 - Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) reported catching two round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) from the headwaters of the west Credit River in the village of Hillsburgh on August 23, 2013.
The fisheries monitoring was being carried out as part of CVC's Integrated Watershed Monitoring Program. The source of the introduction is unknown. Following reporting of this aquatic invasive species, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and CVC have completed further surveys to determine the extent of the introduction. More than 50 round gobies were captured and subsequently removed from the West Credit downstream of Station Street in Hillsburgh.
Since juvenile round gobies were captured, it is believed that round goby has occupied the Station Street pond for more than one year. The current range appears to be restricted to a few online ponds in Hillsburgh and their connecting streams, but there is significant risk for these damaging fish to disperse and establish populations further downstream. Previous records of round goby in the Credit River watershed are localized along the Lake Ontario shoreline and the lower reaches of the Credit River in Mississauga.
The round goby is an invasive fish species which was introduced from Europe and has spread throughout the Great Lakes. This species feeds on and competes with native bottom-dwelling fish species. It can also negatively impact biodiversity by consuming the eggs and fry of native fish species and consuming aquatic insects. To prevent its spread, the Ontario government has banned the possession of live round goby and the use of round goby as a baitfish.
MNR and CVC, with input from landowners and local stakeholder groups, will be determining further management direction to control and monitor the invasion of round goby in the west Credit River.
MNR wishes to remind anglers that it is illegal to dump the contents of any bait container in the water or within 30 metres of any lake, pond, river or stream. Anglers should always carefully dispose of unwanted bait in the trash and empty bait bucket water on dry land.
Residents are encouraged to report observed invasive species, like round goby, to the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711.
For more information visit, www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@biodiversity/documents/document/stdprod_104406.pdf, www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Biodiversity/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_069027.html and www.invadingspecies.com.