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Water Management Associations
Round Goby Diet Increases Weight of Smallmouth Bass
The round goby is just one example of how human action can dramatically and quickly alter an ecosystem. The round goby is a fish native to central Eurasia that has established many non-native populations in the Great Lakes when it was brought in through ballast water in the 1990s.

The round goby negatively impacts other fish populations. Not only do the feed on other small fish, but they also feed on eggs and fry. Originally the round goby had only negatively impacted the Smallmouth Bass population, but now it seems the round goby is part of their diet. Up to 75–80 percent of the smallmouth bass diet is now round goby, which was a fast shift from their typical feeding on crayfish, native shiners and other fish.

Research demonstrated the ecological trade-offs going on with invasion of round goby; the positive side is that the fish, particularly smallmouth bass, seem to be in better condition which can lead to faster growing, healthier fish. But a largely negative implication of this is that fish that grow faster tend to live shorter lives. There could be increased mortality in the fish in these lakes.

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