Fish Finder app


CR_CS_Fish_Finder_Header_400x250The Great Lakes Fish Finder app is an interactive field guide. Look up and identify fishes, submit sightings, and join a community of Great Lakes enthusiasts to help you classify your finds. The app is available as a free download in the Apple and Google Play stores.

The app include that Great Lakes Guide to Fishes, which was created by experts from Shedd Aquarium. The guide is intended to help people identify fishes from the Great Lakes, focusing on species that people are most likely to come across, as well as a sample of fish diversity. Two hundred species of fishes call the Great Lakes home. Some are so common that just about everyone has heard of them. Some are so rare that only a handful of biologists have seen them in the wild. And some are popular to catch and eat, supporting a multibillion-dollar industry.


Download Now!

The app is intended to help you:


Snap a picture with the app and submit it for help from citizen scientists and experts to determine which species you’ve found.

Keep track

Log the fish that you’ve found to keep a record of all of the amazing species you’ve seen!

Share them with the iNaturalist community online

The Great Lakes Fish Finder App connects with the iNaturalist online community of users that includes scientists and experts, citizen scientists, Great Lakes enthusiasts, teachers and many park employees. Shedd experts actively curate taxa, help with species identification and review guide data.

Make a difference

The Great Lakes Fish Finder is an initiative of Shedd Aquarium’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research. Data submitted by citizen scientists around the region help inform scientific studies and may help identify and combat the spread of invasive species that threaten our lakes! The open-access database format will allow scientists to use this large amounts of data to assess spacial and temporal trends in fish populations, critically important due to climate change and other environmental threats to the Great Lakes.

Shedd experts

Dr. Philip Willink, senior research biologist

Dr. Willink joined Shedd in 2012 as senior research biologist for the aquarium’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research, leading Shedd’s efforts to develop a comprehensive evaluation of the state’s list of threatened and endangered species through on-the-ground population assessments. He has more than 20 years of experience in research, teaching and global expeditions studying fish biodiversity as well as endangered and invasive species. His work includes studies on the Great Lakes, examining the genetics of invasive species, and the impact of development and invasive species on native fish populations, as well as a project to publish a field guide of Chicago lakefront fishes. Dr. Willink holds a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Solomon David, postdoctoral research associate

Dr. David joined Shedd in 2012 as a postdoctoral research associate in the Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research. His work focuses on migratory patterns of nearshore fishes in Lake Michigan and the importance these migrations play in Great Lakes ecosystems. It is part of a joint position between Shedd and the University of Wisconsin, Madison Center for Limnology. He comes to Shedd from a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, where he studied aquatic conservation ecology and sustainable aquaculture. Dr. David holds a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Michigan, where he studied conservation ecology of Great Lakes fishes, including projects focused on lake trout, Chinook salmon and the spotted gar.


Designed and built by iNaturalist LLC in partnership with Shedd Aquarium. Guide content © Shedd Aquarium. The app uses numerous open source and Creative Common-licensed materials, including Three20, Restkit, TapkuLibrary by Devon Ross, DejalActivityView by David Sinclair, and Glyphish icons by Joseph Wain. Many thanks to these generous and talented engineers and artists!