The Neogobius melanostomus (Round goby) is a fish native to Eurasia. Round gobies are small, soft-bodied fish with a black spot on their fins. It has been successful for being an invasive species.

Round Goby Y-142

The round goby.

How it became an invasive species

This species has been accidentally introduced into the North America's Great Lakes and smaller nearby lakes in the 1990's; likely by going in ballast waters from ocean-traveling vessels that caused them to go from Lake Michigan to all of the lakes (including the Great Lakes and Lake Nipigon, excluding Lake Simcoe and Lake Winnebago) in the middle-western North America.

Some problems it is causing:

  • Eats the eggs and babies of native fish (sculpins, darters, perch, lake trout, smallmouth bass)
  • Can survive in some poor water conditions.
  • Can reproduce up to six times a summer.
  • Protect vital spawning sites from native fish.

To get rid of it in its invasive area, follow these four steps:

  • Don't ever use gobies for bait.
  • Learn the differences between round gobies and sculpins.
  • Empty bait buckets in the trash before searching in another location.
  • Freeze and keep round gobies and then report it to a local DNR or Sea Grant office.
Neogobius melanostomus character

The identification of Neogobius melanostomus.


  • The round goby eats exoskeletal animals in its native area.
  • The round goby is not just nocturnal, but it is also a day hunter.