A horde of invasive species moves closer to Lake Champlain, ready to invade its waters. The following species are currently on the hot list, and the Lake Champlain Committee is working to reduce the chance that they will be successful.
Round goby: a fish species native to the Caspian and Black Sea regions. They were introduced to the Great Lakes probably from a ship's discharged ballast water, and first found in North America in 1990 in the St. Clair River. Gobies are bottom-dwelling fish that perch on rocks and substrate. They grow up to 10 inches long and have large heads, soft bodies and dorsal fins that lack spines. Often confused with sculpins, the round goby is distinguished by its fused pelvic (bottom) fin which forms a suction disk that allows them to anchor to the bottom. No fish native to North America has this feature.
Round gobies are predators of many native fish such as darters, sculpins, and logperch. Populations of some of these species have seen substantial declines in the St. Clair River. They also eat eggs and fry of lake trout and eggs of lake sturgeon. They have been implicated in major die-offs of birds in the Great Lakes. They can harbor the bacterium that causes avian botulism; this is transmitted to the birds that eat round gobies.