Round Goby
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Name and Code
Gobiidae - gobies
Neogobius melanostomus
Taxonomic Authority
(Pallus, 1814)
Common Name(s)
Round Goby
French Name
gobie à tâches noires
Family TSN
Parent TSN
Species TSN
Conservation Status
Global Rank (GRank)
G5 (2002-09-20)
National Rank (NRank)
NNA (1998-11-06)
Provincial Rank (SRank)
SNA (1998-11-03)
SARO Status
AFS Status
Ecological Value
Ontario Origin
General Abundance
Economic Importance
invasive species
Habitat and Feeding
General Habitat(s)
lacustrine; riverine
Trophic Class
Thermal Regime
Habitat Preference
cobble, gravel and sandy substrates in the lower to middle reaches of rivers and nearshore of lakes (to 20 m); optimum water temperature range 23-26°C
Reproductive Guild
Guarders: Substratum choosers: Lithophils
Spawning Habitat(s)
lacustrine; riverine
Spawning Season
Spawning Month(s)
Spawning Temperature (°C)
Nursery Habitat(s)
lacustrine; riverine
Size and Age
Adult Length (cm)
7.6-15.2 TL
Adult Weight (kg)
Age at Maturity (yrs)
2-3 (m); 1-2 (f)
Maximum Length (cm)
24.6 TL
Maximum Weight (kg)
no data
Lifespan (yrs)
4-5 (m); 3-4 (f)
Ontario Range Map
Round Goby range
Ontario Distribution
Great Lakes and tributaries, St. Lawrence River, Lake Simcoe, Rice Lake, Trent River; introduced with ballast water and first reported from the St. Clair River in 1990; rapidly expanding its range
Round Goby photograph
native to Black and Caspian Sea basins; tolerant of low dissolved oxygen, turbidity and a wide range of water temperatures; use as live bait prohibited
Ontario Records
Record Length (cm)
19.5 TL
Record Weight (kg)
Information Sources
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Charlebois, P.M., J.E. Marsden, R.G. Goettel, R.K. Wolfe, D.J. Jude, and S. Rudnika. 1997. The Round Goby, Neogobius melanostomus (Pallus), a review of European and North American literature. Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program and Illinois Natural History Survey. INHS Special Publication No. 20. 76 pp.
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Coker, G.A., C.B. Portt, and C.K. Minns. 2001. Morphological and ecological characteristics of Canadian freshwater fishes. Can. MS Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2554:iv+89p.
Corkum, L.D., A.J. MacInnis, and R.G. Wickett. 1998. Reproductive habits of Round Gobies. Great Lakes Research Review 3(2):13-20.
Crossman, E.J., E. Holm, R. Cholmondeley, and K. Tuininga. 1992. First record for Canada of the Rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus, and notes on the introduced Round Goby, Neogobius melanostomus. Can. Field-Nat. 106(2):206-209.
Cudmore, B. and N.E. Mandrak. 2011. The baitfish primer: a guide to identifying and protecting Ontario’s baitfishes. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bait Association of Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. 40 pp.
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Jude, D.J. 1997. Round Gobies: cyberfish of the third millennium. Great Lakes Research Review 3(1):27-34.
Jude. D.J., J. Janssen, and G. Crawford. 1995. Ecology, distribution, and impact of the newly introduced Round and Tubenose Gobies in the biota of the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers. Pages 447-460 in M. Munawar, T. Edsall, and J. Leach [Eds]. The Lake Huron ecosystem: ecology, fisheries and management. Ecovision World Monograph Series. SPB Academic Publishing. The Netherlands.
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Lane, P.A., C.B. Portt, and C.K. Minns. 1996. Adult habitat characteristics of Great Lakes fishes. Can. MS Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2358:v+43p.
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Mandrak, N.E. and E.J. Crossman. 1992. A checklist of Ontario freshwater fishes annotated with distribution maps. Royal Ontario Museum Life Sciences Miscellaneous Publication. Toronto, ON. v + 176 pp.
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Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico, second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Boston, MA. xix + 663 pp.
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