|Habitat and site affinity of the round goby|In: Journal of Great Lakes Research. IAGLR/International Association for Great Lakes Research: Buffalo. ISSN 0380-1330, more
Habitat; Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814) [WoRMS]; USA, Great Lakes [Marine Regions]; Marine
Round goby; Site affinity; Nonindigenous species
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A study was conducted in 1996 to compare densities of the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in rock and sand habitats in day and night at three sites (Sarnia, St. Clair River; town of Belle River, Lake St. Clair; Peche Island, Detroit River). The sites represent an expansion in round goby distribution from Sarnia where gobies were first reported in 1990 downstream to Peche Island where gobies appeared in 1993. Site affinity at Peche Island was estimated using mark-recapture and observations of individual fish. Mean density of round gobies differed among sites (p < 0.001), light regime (p < 0.001), habitat (p < 0.001), and the interaction of light regime and site (p = 0.007). Mean densities of the round goby were 0.3 to 3 fish/m (Peche Island), 0.5 to 3 fish/m2 (town of Belle River), and 5 to 9 fish/m2 (Sarnia). Overall, highest densities of the round goby occurred in the day and on rocks. Small (=5 cm) round gobies were most common at Peche Island, the most recently colonized site, indicating that juveniles may disperse more rapidly than adults. Of 200 fish that were marked, 58% were recaptured, indicating high site fidelity among round gobies. The estimated mean (± SE) home range of the round goby determined using SCUBA (5 ± 1.2 m2) was likely underestimated because few fish were observed. Larger round gobies may induce smaller fish to leave preferred rock habitats and move to sand habitats from which they disperse.