February 03, 2022

2021 In Review!

As winter hits the Great Lakes, we wanted to reach out and say Thank You for participating in iNaturalist and the Great Lakes Fish Finder project again during 2021.

Here is the breakdown of how the the 2021 year looks compared to others:

Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Observations 37 49 38 36 271 221 51
Users 18 19 28 26 116 54 17
Species 26 30 24 25 83 57 31

The most commonly reported species continue to be Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Pumpkinseed, and Smallmouth Bass. No surprise there, these are some of the most common fish anglers aim for. This also aligns with the general trend of fish posted to iNaturalist over all (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&quality_grade=research&subview=grid&view=species&iconic_taxa=Actinopterygii).

Oddly, participation is rather low in 2021 compared to the previous trend in engagement. Hopefully as ice clears we can reverse that trend and record a record number of observations in 2022.
Look forward to various bioblitz across the region and keep on interacting with and observing nature!
We at Shedd hope that people continue to enjoy the outdoors, stay healthy, and know that their fish observations are helpful to research endeavors!

Posted on February 03, 2022 20:08 by glfishfinder glfishfinder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 20, 2021

Fish and the City Nature Challenge

After looking over all the states and provinces which touch the Great Lakes, we were able to look at which 'cities' saw the most fish and who had the most people looking. (Note that this means places like Philly and NYC were included since they are within a state that borders the Great Lakes).

Here we show the number of observations of fish plotted against the number of observations:
CNC2021-observations
No surprise that the more observations a city had the more fish were observed. the Cleveland-Akron, Ohio area though went above and beyond in their aquatic observing!

And here are the number of people who observed fish vs the total number of people participating:
CNC2021-observers
Again it seems like the Cleveland-Akron, Ohio had greater proportions of fish observers than other cities directly on the Great Lakes (ignoring Philly).

Great Work everyone and thanks for promoting observations of Fish in iNaturalist!

Posted on May 20, 2021 21:46 by glfishfinder glfishfinder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 26, 2021

Ready for the City Nature Challenge?

This weekend is the City Nature Challenge (https://citynaturechallenge.org/), will you be helping!?
iNaturalist users from across the globe will be out exploring and documenting nature, posting as many observations as possible from April 30th through May 3rd.

How many fish will be found? Do you think we can log 100 observations??
Which City will find the most fish?
(to see the city list go here: https://citynaturechallenge.org/city-list-2021/)
Gar should be spawning throughout the Great Lakes, Where will people see them?

Help Shedd Aquarium answer all these questions by going out to your local water body and photographic fish you see or catch!
You can join Shedd Aquarium Saturday, May 1, 10AM to 2PM for a special day of community science at Skokie Lagoons.(Forest Way, Picnic Gove #1, N. Branch Trail, Glencoe, IL)!

If you are in the Chicago area and want to participate in the City Nature Challenge as part of a group event, check out the planned events here: https://www.chicagowilderness.org/page/citynaturechallenge

Posted on April 26, 2021 14:32 by glfishfinder glfishfinder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 07, 2020

What a year!

As winter approaches we wanted to reach out and say Thank You for participating in iNaturalist and the Great Lakes Fish Finder project.

We have noted an increase in the usage of the project in the past two years:

Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Observations 37 49 38 36 271 221
Users 18 19 28 26 116 54
Species 26 30 24 25 83 57

The most commonly reported species include Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Pumpkinseed, and Smallmouth Bass. No surprise there, these are some of the most common fish anglers aim for. This also aligns with the general trend of fish posted to iNaturalist over all (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&quality_grade=research&subview=grid&view=species&iconic_taxa=Actinopterygii).

We noticed Creek Chub suddenly being in the top 20 fish by observation count this year in the iNaturalist database. In fact 590 observations were reported in 2020 compared to 656 for 2015 through 2019. That is almost a doubling of observations in just one year! As this is not a fish anglers typically target, we wonder if this has to do with the rise in Microfishing during COVID times?

We at Shedd hope that people continue to enjoy the outdoors, stay healthy, and know that their fish observations are helpful to research endeavors!

Posted on December 07, 2020 17:37 by glfishfinder glfishfinder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 04, 2020

Growing the Community

Today (Feb 4th) around 300 observations from around 100 observers were added to the project. Those added were Research Grade observations within the Great Lakes Basin. There are many more observations within the Great Lakes Basin that were not added at this moment simply due to time constraints. If you'd like to help simply add the project to research grade observations of fishes within the basin and help grow our community!

Adding observations was done to help extend the reach of the project and grow the community. More users, means more competition among those seeking biodiversity numbers, rare species, or number of observation statistics. More users also means more help with identifying species where needed, as well as greater community among those whom leave comments or seek similar goals.

More users of course also means more observations, observations are data. Shedd seeks to elevate the view of iNaturalist observations, Your data can be used to:

  • Sentinel for invasive species
  • Studies of when and where Migratory fishes appear
  • What fish are found in harbors and how that changes through the year
  • Species distributions in areas not typically sampled (You microfishers can get to things normal state and federal biologists don't have time to!)

Posted on February 04, 2020 16:19 by glfishfinder glfishfinder | 1 comment | Leave a comment

January 01, 2020

New Year - New Team - New Management!

Hello and welcome Great Lakes Fish Finders!

We at Shedd are Excited to announce a general RELAUNCH of the Great Lakes Fish Finder app/Project! You may have noticed that we started this project back in 2014, however we got ahead of ourselves and are happy to be back on track with managing and culturing this project.

HUGE shout out to all those whom have joined, stuck around, and contributed to this project throughout the past 5 years! We are nearing 400 observation from over 100 people!! Your observations are useful and continue to provide data the science community can use! We at Shedd hope to support and encourage you to continue your efforts through journal posts, periodic contests, special projects, and by highlighting publications that use iNaturalist data to answer tough questions.

To start the new year we want to point your attention to
Our published paper about our goals! we can share a version of it private from HERE.

The Great Lakes themselves represent the largest connected surface area of flowing freshwaters globally (244,000 km2), containing ~21% of the world’s freshwaters, which are home to 142 fish species. The region houses ~92 million people and host about 1.8 million anglers annually! These numbers join together to mean the Great Lakes stand as a region prime for iNaturalist project focused on fish observations.

The key benefits are that the data are open sourced, photos are GeoTagged, and the platform fosters a community of fish enthusiasts (as well as being free) which other apps cant match.

Your data can be used to:

  • Sentinel for invasive species
  • Studies of when and where Migratory fishes appear
  • What fish are found in harbors and how that changes through the year
  • Species distributions in areas not typically sampled (You microfishers can get to things normal state and federal biologists don't have time to!)

You iNaturalists outnumber researchers and career biologists 100 if not 1000 to 1 and thus collectively you can sample locations with more frequency than any program could! Your collective knowledge of species identification and distribution can contribute to the observational database, aide in the identification of others' catches, and promote an overall sense of community for the project.

Thank you so Much, and we are looking forward to working with you!

Posted on January 01, 2020 18:03 by glfishfinder glfishfinder | 0 comments | Leave a comment