A sucker tagged and released for study in a new research project. (Courtesy Shedd Aquarium)

Shedd researcher Karen Murchie has been singing the praises of suckers for years in service of drawing more attention to the overlooked fish. Now the broader scientific community is taking note. 

(WTTW News)

Illinois is rebranding Asian carp as “copi” in a bid to get people to eat the invasive fish into submission. Fishermen are catching thousands of pounds a day and barely making a dent in the number of carp in waterways like the Illinois River, where it's estimated 20 million to 50 million could be harvested annually.

(WTTW News)

Legislation signed Thursday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker now mandates the placement of rescue equipment along Lake Michigan access points, including piers.

Asian carp on ice. (WTTW News)

A stalled movement to give the invasive Asian carp a more palatable name has regained momentum, and the big reveal is now set for June 22.

Matt Sand, wetland field crew leader for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, saws into the frozen surface of Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 in Standish, Mich. (AP Photo / Mike Householder)

Field studies over the past few weeks — a collective effort known as the “Winter Grab” — were intended to boost knowledge of what happens in the five lakes when they’re covered partially or completely with ice.

Shelf Ice at 31st Street Beach. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

As enchanting as Lake Michigan's ice may appear, it’s unmistakably dangerous, as evidenced this week by the presumed drowning of an Indianapolis man who fell into the water off shelf ice at Indiana Dunes National Park on Monday.

President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House, on Feb. 15, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

The infusion from the bipartisan measure enacted in November, combined with annual funding through an ongoing recovery program, will enable agencies by 2030 to finish work on 22 sites designated a quarter-century ago as among the region's most degraded. 

Ice builds on Lake Michigan along the shore at Newport State Park in Wisconsin, Feb. 15, 2021. (AP Photo /  Roger Schneider)

Lake scientists have long considered winter a season when aquatic activity slows. But researchers now think more is going on in the bitter depths than previously believed — including activity influenced by climate change. 

A bighead carp, a type of Asian carp, caught in the Illinois River, the principal tributary of the Mississippi River. There are no North American fish large enough to eat Asian carp, according to the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee. (Photo courtesy U.S. Geological Survey)

Great Lakes Governors Say, ‘Not Us’

Great Lakes governors are asking the federal government to fund costs of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project on the Des Plaines River, designed to block the incursion of invasive carp into the lakes.

Volunteers are needed for beach cleanups in September. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

As beach season winds down in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium is hosting a series of weekend cleanups to clear the shoreline of a summer’s worth of litter and debris.

Nurdles found washed up on the beach at Dawlish Warren in Devon, England. (Partonez / Wikimedia Commons)

Each year, 22 million pounds of plastic finds its way into the Great Lakes – the source of potable water for more than 30 million Americans. We take a look at what can be done to limit plastic pollution.

In this file photo, high waves create hazardous conditions along Lake Michigan. (WTTW News)

Coastal repairs and climate change mitigation are a huge concern for cities around the Great Lakes region. The group behind a new survey calls on the American and Canadian governments to fund local efforts to address these issues.

(WTTW News)

At the end of June, Illinoisans will no longer hear the words “Asian carp.” After several years and hundreds upon hundreds of millions spent trying to keep them from the Great Lakes, how can that possibly be? We explain.

A massive sturgeon, caught May 2021 in the Detroit River. (Jason Fischer / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The 240-pound, 100-year-old, nearly 7-foot-long sturgeon is making headlines. But fish that size used to be common in the Great Lakes and maybe, thanks to restoration efforts, they will be again.

Lake Michigan. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

When it comes to what scientists know about the effects of climate change on the Great Lakes, research to date has only scratched the surface. A new study shows that Lake Michigan is warming — even its greatest depths. “This is a large effect, not just something superficial,” scientists say.

A group of suckers on the move in Door County, Wisconsin, during a previous migration. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

Shedd Aquarium researchers are eagerly anticipating the spring migration of sucker fish, a species that could tell us about climate change.