Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Ponto-Caspian gobies: Use of barriers to prevent migration Control of Freshwater Invasive Species

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • A controlled, replicated field study in the USA, found that an electrical barrier prevented movement of round gobies across it, and that increasing electrical pulse duration and voltage increased effectiveness of the barrier.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A controlled, replicated field study in the Shiawassee River, Michigan, USA (Savino et al. 2001) found that an electrical barrier prevented round goby Neogobius melanostomus movement across it.  Without any electrical current, round goby crossed the barrier within 20 minutes from release upstream. Using 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 (on average one per test) were found alive, but debilitated, below the barrier.  Increasing electrical pulse duration and voltage increased the effectiveness of the barrier.  Feasibility studies in a 2 m donut-shaped tank determined the required electrical currents.  In field studies, an electrical barrier was placed between two blocking nets. The barrier consisted of 6 m wide canvas on which were laid four cables carrying the electrical current.  Twenty five latex paint-marked round goby were introduced upstream of the electrical barrier and recovered 24 h later upstream, on or downstream of the barrier.

(1)Savino J.F., Jude D.J & Kostich M.J. (2001) Use of electric barriers to deter movement of round goby. American Fisheries Society Symposium, 26, 171-182

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Aldridge, D., Ockendon, N., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Some aspects of control of freshwater invasive species. Pages 569-602 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.