Date of Award

December 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Freshwater Sciences and Technology

First Advisor

John Janssen

Committee Members

William Fetzer, Jerry Kaster


gobies, migration, seasonal


Since the invasion of round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) in Lake Michigan, they have become integrated into both the nearshore and offshore food webs. Round gobies can be found in shallower water (<20 m) during the summer, but they disappear from these depths in early fall. They have been collected, occasionally, offshore in depths greater than 70 m during fall and early spring. These observations and other anecdotal evidence indicate that round goby migrate offshore during the fall and return in the spring. To study this, a large remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was used to conduct video transects offshore at various depths. The offshore sampling showed that round gobies migrated away from nearshore habitat in early October and were almost exclusively found deeper than 20 m by November. The round gobies remained offshore (>30 m) until mid-May, when they began the return to nearshore habitat. The cues to start the offshore and return migrations were not the focus of this project, but the fall offshore migrations coincided with decreasing temperatures nearshore in the fall, and in spring, the offshore movement of the thermal bar. The offshore migration in fall provide an increase in forage opportunity for deep, cold-water predators such as lake trout, that cannot access nearshore habitat when the lake is stratified because of temperature barriers.