At the end of July, Ludington, MI served as the last stop for a 101-foot research vessel monitoring Lake Michigan’s population of alewife, an important prey fish that has struggled in recent years. The ship, called the R/V Sturgeon, collected over 300 samples of alewife larvae and also sampled the microscopic plankton they eat, said David Bunnell, the biologist leading the research for the U.S. Geological Survey.
All Lake Michigan
When the pandemic hit and field work came to a halt, the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians provided master’s student Marissa Cubbage with previously collected larval samples to use in her thesis work, which addresses how the decline of zooplankton populations has affected the diet of larval whitefish.
Lake Michigan gets regular health checkups, but like many people, it sometimes