Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua) were first discovered in the St. Louis River in 1986 and have slowly been expanding eastward. In other countries where this species has been introduced native sport fish populations have decreased as a result. In Lake Superior where this fish has expanded its range the furthest, native species such as Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) have declined but research has yet to link it definitively to the presence of Ruffe.
How do we do it?
The LGLFWCO continues to conduct bottom trawling surveys for Ruffe in seven harbor locations along the U.S. shore of Lake Erie, and one location on Lake Ontario. Surveys are conducted in partnership with Service offices in the upper Great Lakes, state agencies, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. LGLFWCO staff surveys sites in Toledo, Sandusky, Cleveland, Ashtabula, and Conneaut, OH, Presque Isle (Erie), PA, Buffalo, and Rochester, NY. Surveys are conducted in May/June and September/October at traditional sites sampled since 1994. All data are summarized and forwarded to the Ruffe Control Committee, a subgroup of the ANS Task Force, for inclusion in the annual Great Lakes basin-wide report of all Ruffe surveillance activities.
Reports from previous years can be found at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/alpena/programs.html.