Habitat use of invasive monkey goby (Neogobius fluviatilis) and pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) in Lake Balaton (Hungary): a comparison of electrofishing and fyke netting.
Detailed knowledge on the habitat preference of invasive fishes and the bias of different fishing methods in determining their population dynamic parameters are essential in fisheries management, ecology and conservation. This study was conducted to determine the habitat use and length frequency distribution of the invasive monkey goby and pumpkinseed in the littoral zone of Lake Balaton (Hungary) using two different sampling methods, electrofishing and fyke netting. In general, both species preferred anthropogenically modified habitat types (rip-rap shorelines and harbours) compared with natural reed habitats with silty-sand bottom. Length frequency distribution data showed significant between-gear differences, since electrofishing resulted in the capture of larger individuals in greater proportion than fyke nets for both species. This study, which includes the first detailed data about the habitat use of the highly invasive monkey goby in lakes, suggests that invasive species may benefit from the alteration of the littoral zone. It also highlights that reliance on single gear surveys can be misleading in assessing habitat use and population structure of invasive fishes.