The Gleaner
EnvironmentNews

Invasive fish species found in Lake Saint-François

A new invasive species of fish has been discovered in Lake Saint-François.

The Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs announced on July 17 that a tube-nosed goby was found in the Saint-Zotique sector of the lake, near the Ontario border. This marks the first time this species has been observed in Quebec waters.

There are concerns the appearance of this species could have negative impacts on biodiversity. The tube-nosed goby is a predator of eggs and larvae of native species. It also competes with other bottom-feeding fish.

The environment ministry warns that aquatic invasive species can be difficult to control once established, and there is concern the numbers of this fish could increase and ultimately be found throughout the fluvial, or freshwater portion, of the Saint-Lawrence River.

 

A tube nosed goby which is an invasive species has been discovered for the first time in Lake Saint François ILLUSTRATION Louis LHérault Ministère de lEnvironnement de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques de la Faune et des Parcs

 

According to the ministry, the tube-nosed goby was introduced into the St-Clair River in Michigan in the 1990s from ballast water discharges from ships sailing from Europe. The most likely hypothesis for the arrival of the tube-nosed goby in Quebec is their expansion through Lake Ontario and down the St. Lawrence River.

This species of fish is still rare in Quebec, and the ministry is asking anglers to report any sightings to help document its presence in the river system. To do so, citizens can contact the ministry by calling 1-877-346-6763, or the local office located in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield at 450-370-3024.

If an individual believes they have caught an invasive species, the fish must be returned to the water if they are not planning to keep and consume it. The aim is to prevent the unnecessary death of native fish that have been misidentified. (SR)

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