Menasha locks/channel round goby response monitoring

Purpose

On Sunday night (August 23rd) DNR staff received a call from an angler who reported catching a round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) below the Neenah dam, which is one of two dams at the outlet of Lake Winnebago. The angler forwarded a cell phone picture of the fish to DNR staff who visually confirmed that the picture was of a round goby. Following visual confirmation, DNR staff set minnow traps, electroshocked and fished at the reported location, and caught 2 gobies below the dam, but no gobies above. On September 3rd, DNR released confirmation of round gobies below the Neenah dam. http://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=3704 On Friday September 4th, the Department worked with the Fox River Navigation System Authority (FRNSA) to have the Menasha Lock (located immediately downstream of the Neenah dam) to remain closed until further notice to prevent the potential upstream movement of round gobies into Lake Winnebago. FRNSA was supportive of closure. Round gobies are hypothesized to have been transported to Little Lake Butte des Morts in bait bucket as they are unable to swim past the dam at Rapide Croche.

Objective

Determine whether round gobies are upstream of the Menasha Lock.

Outcome

Known distribution of round goby in the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway to inform navigational guidance.

Study Design

Following the closure of the Menasha lock, WDNR AIS crews continued to collect angler reports and trapped and angling. Baited minnow traps were deployed while angling at various locations within the Menasha Channel/Lake Winnebago (Turning Basin, Water St., Menasha Marina, Smith Park, Jefferson Park, etc.) and Little Lake Butte des Morts (Fritse Park, Friendship Trail, area immediate below the locks, etc.). The lat/long locations of traps, type of bait, and time trap was set/removed was recorded, and traps were left deployed for at least 1 hr prior to checking them. All fish caught in traps were counted and identified to species, and any gobies captured were collected for official verification.

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Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring
AIS Response
121612926
2015
Active
 
Reports and Documents
Map illustrating the approximate distribution of verified round goby angler reports in Little Lake Butte des Morts and the Fox River over time (2015-2018).
Tracking spreadsheet of angler reported 'gobies' reported to WDNR between 2015-2018. Includes details on verified reports, misidentifications, and unverified reports.
Summary map of the verified angler goby reports received during 2015 & 2016 from LLBDM which Fisheries/AIS staff compiled through both the smartphone app & direct contact w/ staff.
Map of the distribution of minnow trap locations and round gobies detected during monitoring efforts conducted from June 2-17, 2016. Small green dots indicate trap locations while larger red 'fish' dot indicates location gobies caught.
Raw data of minnow trapping efforts conducted from June 2-17, 2016 in LLBDM and the Menasha channel for round goby monitoring.
Summary file of the angler reports received during Fall 2015 from LLBDM which Fisheries/AIS staff compiled through both the smartphone app & direct contact w/ staff.
Summary map of the angler reports received during Fall 2015 from LLBDM which Fisheries/AIS staff compiled through both the smartphone app & direct contact w/ staff.
Map of the distribution of minnow trap locations and round gobies detected during monitoring efforts conducted from Oct 20-Nov 6, 2015. Small green dots indicate trap locations while larger red 'fish' dot indicates location of one goby caught off the Trestle Trail bridge.
Raw data of minnow trapping & angling efforts conducted from Oct 20-Nov 6, 2015 (two separate tabs) in the Menasha channel and surrounding vicinity.
Image shows boats leaving the Menasha Lock around 2:30pm after chemical treatment for gobies was done in the lock on October 1, 2015.
Photo of fish in distress and dying near the upper lock doors of Menasha Lock 10-15 minutes after chemical treatment was added and mixed into the water of the lock.
Photo of boats anchored in the Menasha Lock after the lower lock doors were closed at 9:00am on October 1, 2015
Photo of chemical addition to waters of the Menasha Lock a little after 9:00am on October 1, 2015 to treat for gobies
 
Activities & Recommendations
Aquatic Invasive Species Removal
The treatment of the Menasha lock to move the stranded vessels through up to Lake Winnebago occurred today. Staff were on site early to get things ready. Boats began arriving around 8:30am and we closed the lower lock doors at 9:00 am (photo IMG_3938). Lock filling/chemical introduction commenced shortly thereafter (IMG_3942). Once the lock was filled, which only took about 10 ? 15 minutes, we had one of the last boats in run his props for a short time to make sure the Rotenone was fully distributed in the chamber. The boat owners then disembarked and left the site. Then Bob Stark and myself spoke to the media present, which included all three TV stations and a reporter from the Post Crescent. Afterward, a number of us stayed on-site for a while to observe the treatment. Fish near the upper lock door starting appearing in distress within 15 minutes of the application (IMG_3960). Within an hour, there were dead or distressed fish throughout the lock chamber all the way to the lower doors. This indicated to me and the team that there was sufficient product throughout the chamber. Mark Baldock, Andrew Notbohm, Bob Hoodie and Michelle Nault were on-sight the entire duration of the treatment. Fish that I observed in the chamber were gizzard shad, drum, whitebass, carp, emerald shiner, bluegill, yellow perch, walleye and smallmouth bass. The vast majority of the fish were gizzard shad, with small bluegill and shiners next. Only a single carp and walleye were observed. I got a key for the lock area and plan to stop back over the next couple of days to look for any sign of gobies that might float up after a day or two of being dead, though I don?t think that we?ll see any. At 1:30 pm the bioassay cages with sacrificial gobies were lifted and there was 100% mortality of the targeted species. The boat owners were called and returned to their boats for departure. Once all the owners were aboard their vessels the ?fleet? left the lock chamber at 2:30 pm (IMG_3967). This was fortunate as there was a pretty good NNE wind and many of the boat owner had to get down to Oshkosh. Getting them out early allowed them to make the trip safely in the daylight.
 
Watershed
 
Waters