Thursday, September 24, 2015

One Thousand Sturgeon

1000 sturgeon planted  follow the link to the latest news about sturgeon.

Read more about the sturgeon in the Great Lakes in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes.
This book is available in paperback and on Kindle., etc.

the 5 Great Lakes as seen from space.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Round Gobies in Lake Michigan

BY RYAN MATUZAK Local Columnist Traverse City
Here in Grand Traverse Region, we can try for many different species of fish in a single trip — the interesting part is how one of the more recent invasive fish plays a part in the catching. Round gobies cover the floor of the lake and bays at most every depth. They are one of the most visible and abundant fish on the bottom of the lake. Any cover on the bottom will attract gobies. In their home waters of the Black Sea, they prefer eating small crustaceans and invertebrates, along with zebra and quagga mussels. Since our lake bottom is covered with these mussels, there is plenty of food for the gobies — in addition to competing for food with the native fish species.
When I go out fishing now with a particular species in mind, gobies are part of the equation. In the Grand Traverse Bays and Lake Michigan, finding cover or structure that the gobies live on will have more fish that are looking to eat. These areas continue to draw feeding fish based on the gobies reproduction cycle. The average mature 1-2-year-old female goby spawns every 20 days from April until September. As many as 5,000 eggs are laid in each nest. That is a lot of different-sized prey fish entering the system for around six months of the year. These fish are rich in vitamin B, which helps the reproduction of the fish eating them. Natural reproduction in native fish has gone up in areas where the alewife populations have gone down and gobies numbers are up. Alewives are a decent food source for fish with their fatty acids but they do not help reproduction because they are vitamin B-deficient. I've found gobies in nearly every species of fish caught in the Great Lakes and connecting waters in the last decade. Our perch eat the juveniles and big perch are full of 1-inch gobies. The local lake trout have a steady diet of almost exclusively gobies. We catch them in 10- to 200- feet of water trolling and jigging vertically — all of them have gobies in them. And yes, we have seen some chinook salmon this year full of gobies. There were not a lot of salmon eating them but we have seen more this year than in all of the years since gobies' arrival combined. Our prized smallmouth bass fishery here in the Grand Traverse Region is also benefiting from the abundant goby population right where the bass like to live. The bass are found feeding on gobies in water right up to the beach and as deep recently as 80 feet of water. Tube baits do a great job of mimicking a goby. If you do happen to catch gobies when you are fishing your next time out, don’t be surprised. Just remember that spot may have some of your favorite target species nearby just waiting to bite your line next! Ryan Matuzak runs fishing trips in the Grand Traverse region — North Country Sportfishing, LLC — and is a board member of the Grand Traverse Area Sport Fishing Association. To learn more, drop him a line at:

Lake Michigan