Blog Post from ISTC: Underwater innovation at Illinois Beach State Park to help mitigate coastal erosion

New blog post from the Illinois State Technology Center highlighting our collaborative effort to improve the integrity and biological sustainability of our Lake Michigan shoreline:

The post dives into the purpose and goals of the Rubble Ridges project that the Lake Michigan Biological Station is helping with. While our focus is on monitoring and enhancing the habitat for a variety of species, other researchers from the Illinois State Geological Survey and Michigan State University are studying the effects of the rubble structure on shoreline erosion and current dynamics. Check the link for the full post!

JOB POSTING: Creel/Fisheries Technician

Work with Lake Michigan Biological Station scientists on collecting creel and fisheries data! You would interview shoreline and boat anglers on fishing effort, expenditures, harvest, and biological characteristics of fish in their possession. Additionally, you would assist with monitoring yellow perch population dynamics,  nearshore fish assemblages, and benthic invertebrate and zooplankton prey resources.

Apply by Feb. 20 at:

JOB POSTING: Fisheries Technician

Work with Lake Michigan Biological Station scientists as a fisheries field technician! You’d assist with monitoring yellow perch population dynamics, nearshore and tributary fish assemblages, benthic invertebrate and zooplankton resources, and sport fish harvest dynamics along the Illinois shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Apply by Feb. 20 at:

JOB POSTING: Visiting Aquatic Invasive Species Engagement specialist

JOB POSTING: Visiting Aquatic Invasive Species Engagement specialist

The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) investigates and documents the biological resources of Illinois and other areas, and acquires and provides natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources. INHS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Learn more at

The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Aquatic Invasive Species Engagement specialist to develop, direct, and assess the effectiveness of outreach and engagement activities for various stakeholders needing scientific information on Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) affecting Lake Michigan and the inland waters of Illinois and Indiana; develop, plan, direct, and conduct social and possibly biological research to help guide outreach efforts. Please visit for further information regarding application procedures, or you may contact Amber Hall,
Human Resources Associate at Application deadline January 28, 2022.

The U of I is an EEO Employer/Vet/Disabled that participates in the federal e-Verify program and participates in a background check program focused on prior criminal or sexual misconduct history.
University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.

Side-scan sonar to document lake trout spawning habitat at offshore reefs in northwest Lake Michigan

LMBS biologist Will Stacy-Duffy recently gave a presentation at a virtual conference hosted by GLOS (the Great Lakes Observing System- The Conference was called “Lakebed 2030” in reference to their initiative to map the bathymetry of the Great Lakes in high resolution by 2030 and brought together a diverse group of researchers who do lakebed mapping for various purposes. For the “Fisheries/Habitat” perspective, Will discussed how we use bathymetry and substrate mapping to document lake trout spawning habitat and aid the management and restoration of the species.
Follow the link below to see his presentation:

End of 2021 Boat Season

The boating season has come to an end for the Lake Michigan Biological Station. This week, we winterized our boats and stored them away until next season. We will spend the winter months processing the samples we collected the last five months. Below are some of our favorite moments from our field work this year!

Side-scan sonar surveys

We have recently resumed side-scan sonar surveys to observe and classify bottom substrates at offshore reefs. This involves high-frequency sonar pings across a swath of the lake bed emanating from a torpedo-shaped “towfish” that is pulled behind the RV Sculpin. The return pings are processed and analyzed to provide an image of the lake bed, helping us to identify areas of contrasting substrates like sand, boulders, and bedrock.