At the break of dawn this Saturday, May 24th, Center for Limnology researchers and your trusty blogger will hit the road for Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. Once there, we will help Shedd researchers and volunteers set up a number of activity stations celebrating World Fish Migration Day (WFMD).
What is WFMD, you ask? Well, it’s a one-day global initiative featuring 270 events around the globe all in the name of raising awareness about the importance of migratory fish to ecosystems and economies around the world.
The WFMD website has a great interactive map showing where each event will be held.
Our own event at the Shedd will feature a “fish safari” for kids, where they’ll grab a passport and search for five different migratory fish from around the globe within the Shedd’s tanks. We’ll also have life-sized cut-outs where kids can pose as a scientist holding a migratory fish and a science poster session where researchers will discuss their work.
In our own neck of the woods, pike, suckers, sturgeon and more head upstream to spawn each year. But barriers like road culverts and dams can stand in the way. WFMD is hoping to underscore the importance of open rivers for migratory fish and teach people about some of the amazing journeys our finned-friends make for their own survival.
Researchers here at the CFL, especially students and scientists working with our faculty member, Pete McIntyre, are hard at work on things like mapping barriers for Great Lakes migratory fish and tracking and tagging migratory pike.
If you’re in Chicago this weekend, come on out and say hello!