Lake Michigan has been an important fisheries resource for hundreds of years. As the climate and lake ecosystem changes, fish populations will also change, which may have significant effects to economies that rely on fisheries. We work with fishing operators and businesses, anglers, scientists, and managers to address key fisheries issues such as invasive species, habitat restoration, and changing socioeconomic environments.

Programs & Initiatives

Fisheries Meetings

Local scientists present Lake Michigan fisheries research and make themselves available for questions and discussion. Meetings are held each spring and fall as both in-person and virtual events. Presenters share information on emerging issues, such as new contaminants, and recent changes in fish stocking and regulations.

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Tracking Fish in Downtown Chicago

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Shedd Aquarium, and Purdue University are studying fish behavior in the Chicago River. Using acoustic tags, researchers seek to better understand how fish move about the river and respond to various restoration initiatives. 

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Fisheries Data

Comprehensive fisheries data in Lake Michigan have been collected by state agencies since the 1980s. In partnership with these agencies, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant has collated and published these data in a user-friendly way via two interactive websites: Angler Archive and Fish Atlas.

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Buoys in Lake Michigan

Real-time buoys in Lake Michigan serve multiple audiences: boaters, anglers, padders, surfers, weather forecasters, and charter boats. Data are refreshed every 10-60 minutes during the buoy season, which runs from April through late October.

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Be A Hero—Transport Zero

Invasive species—non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that cause harm to natural areas—impact both our economy and the environment. Their environmental impacts can affect outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, and birding. You can help prevent these impacts—”Be A Hero” and join the more than 90 percent of outdoor enthusiasts in Illinois who are already fighting the spread of invaders.

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Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI)

Each year since 2002, through CSMI, multiple federal, state, and university scientists gather on one of the Great Lakes to take part in coordinated research. In the past 10 years, Lake Michigan has been the focus of intensive research in 2015 and 2020, with 2025 (and every five years after that) expected to be the lake’s field years

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Research Projects

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant funds original research projects that support and complement our education and outreach activities. The link below will take you the Fisheries section of our funded research database, where you will find project descriptions, contact information, and final reports and publications.

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Fisheries Contact Information

Topic Specialist

Peter Euclide
Fisheries Specialist

Research Projects

Carolyn Foley
Research Coordinator


Ethan Chitty
Administrative Assistant

Education & Training

Terri Hallesy
Education Coordinator
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