Use of Electrical Barriers to Deter Movement of Round Goby

Publication Date


Publication Title

Behavioral Technologies for Fish Guidance: American Fisheries Society Symposium

Start Page


End Page



Coutant CC;

Publication Place

Bethesda, MD


American Fisheries Society


An electrical barrier was chosen as a possible means to deter movement of round goby Neogobius melanostomus. Feasibility studies in a 2.1-m donut-shaped tank determined the electrical parameters necessary to inhibit round goby from crossing the 1-m stretch of the benthic, electrical barrier. Increasing electrical pulse duration and voltage increased effectiveness of the barrier in deterring round goby movement through the barrier. Differences in activity of round goby during daytime and nocturnal tests did not change the effectiveness of the barrier. In field verification studies, an electrical barrier was placed between two blocking nets in the Shiawassee River, Michigan. The barrier consisted of a 6-m wide canvas on which were laid four cables carrying the electrical current. Seven experiments were conducted, wherein 25 latex paint-marked round goby were introduced upstream of the electrical barrier and recovered 24 h later upstream, on, and downstream of the barrier. During control studies, round goby moved across the barrier within 20 min from release upstream. With the barrier on and using the prescribed electrical settings shown to inhibit passage in the laboratory, the only marked round goby found below the barrier were dead. At reduced pulse durations, a few round goby (mean one/test) were found alive, but debilitated, below the barrier. The electrical barrier could be incorporated as part of a program in reducing movement of adult round goby through artificial connections between watersheds.

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