Using dissolved carbon dioxide to alter the behavior of invasive round goby

Aaron R. Cupp, John A. Tix, Justin R. Smerud, Richard A. Erickson, Kim T. Fredricks, Jon J. Amberg, Cory D. Suski, Robert Wakeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fisheries managers need effective methods to limit the spread of invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus in North America. Elevating carbon dioxide (CO2) in water at pinch points of rivers (e.g., inside locks) is one approach showing potential to deter the passage of invasive fishes, such as bigheaded carps Hypophthalmichthys spp., but the effectiveness of this method to alter round goby behavior has not been determined. The goal for this study was to determine CO2 concentrations that alter round goby behavior across a range of water temperatures. Free-swimming avoidance (voluntary response) and loss of equilibrium (involuntary response) were quantified by exposing round goby to increasing CO2 concentrations at 5, 15, and 25 °C using a shuttle box choice arena and static tank. Water chemistry was measured concurrent with behavioral endpoints and showed that round goby avoided a threshold of 99–169 mg/L CO2 (79,000–178,000 µatm) and lost equilibrium at 197–280 mg/L CO2 (163,000–303,000 µatm). Approximately 50% lower CO2 concentrations were found to modify behavior at 5 °C relative to 25 °C, suggesting greater effectiveness at lower water temperatures. We conclude that CO2 modified round goby behavior and concentrations determined in this study are intended to guide field testing of CO2 as an invasive fish deterrent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-574
Number of pages8
JournalManagement of Biological Invasions
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Barrier
  • Deterrent
  • Fish passage
  • Great lakes
  • Migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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