Action Alert: Aquatic Invasives and the Erie Canal (Round Goby)

Protect the Hudson River from Aquatic Invasive Species: Ask Governor Hochul to take action to stop invasive species from entering the Hudson River through the Erie Canal!

The Erie Canal and Mohawk River have become a thoroughfare for invasive species to enter the Hudson River Watershed from the Great Lakes. Most recently, the round goby, which is native to Eurasian fresh and marine waters, were discovered in the Hudson River in July 2021 when DEC Marine Fisheries captured four downstream of the Troy dam and have now been documented as far south as Marlboro

Gobies are voracious feeders, consuming mussels, small invertebrates,  and the eggs of native species. Competing with native species for food and habitat, adult gobies also take over the nearshore spawning areas of native species, and have high reproductive potential, spawning every 20 days during spawning season.

The spread of the Round Goby from the canal into the Hudson River is not a new occurrence, nor, unless swift action is taken, will it be the last. On the horizon are invasives such as the notorious Asian carp which are populous in the Mississippi watershed and on the doorstep of the Great Lakes. Once there, they could follow the same route as the round goby to the Hudson.

Timely action is needed to prevent further invasive fish from moving into the Hudson River through the Erie Canal by separating the Hudson River, Great Lakes and Lake Champlain’s watersheds. Existing procedures and technology combined with the existence of the locks within the canal creates a unique opportunity to proactively stop further introduction of invasive species currently entering the Great Lakes from the Mississippi watershed.

Call Governor Hochul and request she act to stop further migration of new invasive species into the Hudson River through the Erie Canal (518) 474-8390 or submit a message here.

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