Invasive species sighted in eastern St. Lawrence River

In this picture from the St. Lawrence River Institute's presentation to city council, the Tubenose Goby has been found in the eastern section of the St. Lawrence River. The invasive species has occasionally been spotted near Kingston, Ont. but never in this region until this year. (City of Cornwall/St. Lawrence River Institute via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – The head of the St. Lawrence River Institute says they have found an invasive species, new to this area, in the river this year.

Dr. Jeff Ridal, the executive director of the institute, made the revelation while highlighting their fish survey they do with Akwesasne called FINS (Fish Identification Nearshore Survey).

It was part of their annual report to Cornwall City Council.

β€œIn fact, we have this year (found a new species) and it’s not the nicest one. It’s an invasive species called the Tubenose Goby. Relative of the Round Goby that everyone knows and in fact it’s making its way into the river,” Ridal told council Monday night.

The bottom-feeder fish is normally found in the Black and Caspian seas between Europe and Asia, but showed up in Canada near Windsor in the late 1980s. It’s been occasionally sighted in the river near Kingston, according to Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program.

They eat the young of other bottom-dwelling fish.

On the flip side, Ridal says they are seeing more sensitive species making a comeback.