I am appalled by the reaction to the newest residents in our area. The actions being taken against Round Gobies are obviously rooted in hate and ignorance. It is obvious that nobody would be this upset if they looked and acted like the rest of the fish we already have in Lake Winnebago.
First off, let's address the terming of Gobies as an "invasive species". That name (while factually correct) carries with it a negative connotation and only marginalizes and criminalizes the Gobies. The Associated Press should immediately remove "invasive species" from its Stylebook and replace it with something more "humanizing" like "non-native fishes". That should make the Gobies feel much better about themselves.
And who does the DNR think it is by closing the Menasha Lock to prevent the Gobies from coming to Lake Winnebago? You think putting up a wall is going keep them out? And how do you plan to patrol this barrier? Do you know how deep the water is there? Are you going to have divers in there 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365-days a year? And good luck thinking you can catch all of the Gobies to remove them from the area.
What's that you say? Round Gobies eat the eggs of other "native fish" and spawn several times a year to expand their numbers quickly? Who are you, Donald Trump that you need to bring up those stereotypes? Name me a species that doesn't have a few bad actors. You don't have to paint them all with a broad brush like that. You are just afraid that if they spawn here they will have "anchor babies" to make them "native fish"--aren't you?
Perhaps the "native" fish have forgotten that their ancestors are not "native" to Lake Winnebago--they all came from somewhere else too. Just because they have been here longer doesn't give them any special rights. Besides, why should Sturgeon have all the habitat they want? Who really needs to be over six-feet long and weight over 200-pounds? It sounds like they can afford to give up more than a little habitat and food to the Gobies.
Let's not forget that Round Gobies do the work that other Lake Winnebago fish refuse to do. And if enough of them get into the lake they can vote the Muskies into power and marginalize the Walleyes for decades to come--even if it comes at the expense of other minority fish already in the lake.
Besides, we have found just four Round Gobies so far in the Fox River. There are many people who wouldn't think they are a threat if there were 11-million of them swimming around out there. So let's literally open the floodgates and allow our new visitors to come in whatever numbers they please--with no fear of being caught. #gobieshaverightstoo