By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — The round goby is one of the nastiest aliens in the Great Lakes — with what the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) calls its “voracious appetite and an aggressive nature which allows them to dominate over native species.”
But smallmouth bass find them yummy chow, and that’s also good news for crayfish that used to top the smallmouth bass menu. “Changes in growth seem to be occurring to the greatest extent with the youngest bass,” said Derek Crane, a fisheries biologist who works with Lake Superior State University’s Aquatic Research Laboratory. Female growth increased more than male growth. Those findings likely apply throughout the Great Lakes, Crane said. Crane, who teaches at Carolina Coastal University in South Carolina, is the co-author of a new study of changes in the diet and growth of smallmouth bass since the round goby invaded Lake Erie.