June 6 through 12 is Invasive Species Awareness Week in New York. Generally when we think of unwanted pests, we think of the Spotted Laternfly or Emerald Ash Borer destroying crops and trees. But the NY Department of Environmental Conservation is asking anglers to be on the lookout for the pesky Round Goby Fish.

The Goby was first noticed in one of the Great Lakes in 1990, just eight years later they were found in all of the great lakes. The species is native to the Black and Caspian Seas in Europe and Asia and most likely arrived in the US through ballast water in cargo ships. Once in the Great Lakes, natural migration and localized boats have the Goby spreading at alarming rates, including the Mohawk River and Erie Canal in Marcy and Utica.

A recent discovery of the species in the Capital Region has the DEC concerned about how large and widespread the population growth could be as the Round Goby spawns every twenty days during the season. This map shows confirmed locations of the fish.

NY Locations of Round Goby Fish


Because they spawn so quickly, Gobies take over native fish's spawning site and consume smaller fish and eggs. And worst of all, they are a horrible nuisance at stealing bait from anglers.


You don't hear the DEC say this very often, but if you catch a Round Goby, kill it. The suggestion is to leave it on the ground far from the water so there's no chance it can get back into a waterway. If possible, take a photo of the fish, note the location and email the info to the DEC, isinfo@dec.ny.gov.

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