Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New York
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New York Project

What role to invasive round goby have in the contaminant cycle?

June 2018 - June 2021


Participating Agencies

  • Cornell Water Resources Institute

Round goby were first introduced into the Great Lakes from the Ponto-Caspian region in the mid 1990s. In the decades that have followed, this invasive species has spread throughout all 5 Great Lakes and is now moving inland through connected waterways. Round goby prey upon invasive Dreissenid mussels, and themselves are prey items taken by most game fish in temperate North America. In this collaboration working across NY State Department of Conservaiton, NY Sea Grant, the Finger Lakes Institute, SUNY ESF, and Cornell, we are investigating whether round goby invasions change the mercury fish contaminant cycle. Results from this work will inform fisheries managers about whether fish consumption advisories may need to be updated upon round goby invasions. This project is also providing an important educational opportunity as well, serving as the basis for a graduate seminar at Cornell University on fish bioenergetics monitoring, contributing to training of the next generation of fisheries ecologists.