The Shedd Aquarium is a fun Chicago travel destination for some Door County residents, but for their Director of Freshwater Research, Door County has been a haven for research. Since 2017, Karen Murchie has spent time on the peninsula tracking migratory patterns of suckers. While she does research in Michigan and Illinois as well, Door County has provided an optimal environment with a high number of bodies of water. Opportunities include tagging and tracking the white suckers, and listening to spawning sounds.
In the tracking process, a relatively high amount of suckers returned to their release area. Between 2017 and 2018, three hundred adults were tagged. In 2019, 204 returned, in 2020 the number dropped down to 176, and Murchie estimates that the number will be capped at its current total of 143. There is not a for sure answer on why this is, but Murchie thinks it may be due to spawning habits.
With the surprises that nature can bring, Murchie hasn’t set a Door County departure date but anticipates it will be next week. Murchie mentions she loves coming to Door County every year and considers it a magical place with all the different creeks and beauty. The full-length interview is available in the podcasts page.