Tubenose Goby (Proterorhinus marmoratus)

Credit: John Lyons/Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

Credit: John Lyons/Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

How did the tubenose goby get here?

  • It arrived in the late 1990s in the St. Clair River and Michigan.
  • The tubenose goby is native to the Black and Caspian Seas in Europe.
  • It is believed that the tubenose goby was in the ballast water of ships coming from Eastern Europe.
Why are tubenose gobies a problem?
  • They are spread from the Detroit River to western Lake Erie and to the Duluth Superior Harbor in the Great Lakes.
  • They are not as aggressive as the round goby.
  • The tubenose goby defends its nest sites created under rocks and logs.
  • They tubenose goby typically eats aquatic invertebrates, insect nymphs, larvae, small crustaceans, worms, fish and fish eggs.
What does it look like?
  • The tubenose goby is brown in color and has two dorsal fins.
  • The tubenose has a tube extending from each of its nostrils.
  • The tubenose goby rarely exceeds four inches (11 cm) in length.
How do we control the tubenose goby?
  • There is little that we can do to eliminate them from the waters, but controlling their spread is very important.
  • Inspect live bait to make sure no tubenose gobies are accidentally released.
  • Discard live bait in the trash, not in the water.
  • Do not transport water from one lake to another.
  • Learn how to identify exotic species.
  • Do not use tubenose gobies as bait.

For more photos and information about tubenose gobies, see the Wisconsin Fish Identification tool.