Round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) range expansion and their possible inclusion in the diet of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) were investigated. Fish community index bottom trawls in eastern Lake Ontario (Kingston basin) during summer 2003 and 2004 indicated the presence of the round goby at relatively low densities (3.72 × 10−2 ± 5.24 × 10−3 fish/m2) in depths up to 30 m. Lake trout (mean fork length = 585 ± 78 mm and mean weight = 2,770 ± 1,134 g) stomach contents showed round goby to be the second most abundant diet item at almost 20% by number (36% by mass). Round goby ingested by lake trout ranged in total length from 50 to 110 mm. The most important prey species in terms of abundance (68%) and mass (56%) was alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus). Alewives were the most important diet item for all sizes of lake trout sampled, except those in the 550 - 650 mm size class, which ingested more round goby by mass than alewife. Round goby range expansion to deep water and prominence in the diet of lake trout signal significant change in the eastern Lake Ontario food web.
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Vol. 32 • No. 2