About 30 teens from a group called, Encampment for Citizenship—based out of California, but pulling teens from all over the country—got to meet Lake Michigan and a few Great Lakes fishes up close at Openlands Lakeshore Preserve last Friday.

seining

Waders on, our volunteers explored the submarine environment of the nearshore in search of local fishes. Dr. Philip Willink, Senior Fish Biologist at Shedd, invited everyone to try their hand at seining along the shore--a seine is a wide, narrow net, used to temporarily scoop up fish swimming near the sandy bottom. 

Fishes

To our surprise, we found a species less common along the shoreline--the Lake Michigan bloater (Coregonus hoyi), which normally lives in very deep water. It's called a "bloater" because when they are brought up from great depths, they actually inflate due to the pressure change. Thanks to our young volunteers who helped make the find!

 sweep

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, a GLAD wouldn’t be complete without a little beach cleanup action, so we swapped waders for buckets and did our part to collect all the plastic, cigarette butts, foam and whatever else we could find on the beach.

If you're interested in lending a hand for the lakes, we have events scheduled through October. Contact Reid Bogert at rbogert@sheddaquarium.org for more information.