Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Predators At Montrose Harbor

Ever watch the fishermen at Montrose Harbor toss small fish on the ground to die or toward the sea gulls to eat? Did you think they were being cruel to the fish or kind to a hungry bird? Hardly. They were following a fishing law that forbids them to toss invasive round gobies back into Lake Michigan.

What’s a round goby? A goby is a small fish that hitchhiked into the Great Lakes from the Baltic, Black or Caspian Seas in the ballasts of oceangoing ships. They don’t harm people, but now that they are here, they are destroying native fish populations. Montrose Harbor has one of the first and most intensive invasions in Lake Michigan, which is monitored by various state and federal agencies.

The good news? The gobies have been eating invading zebra mussels. Meanwhile our perch, small-mouths, brown trout, and salmon, have been feasting upon the gobies.

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