Notice: this is a new page to replace the legacy Great Lakes Water Life gallery. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Rochelle Sturtevant at

Great Lakes Water Life Explorer

Search data

You can search the Great Lakes Water Life database, specifying for lakes and rivers, domain, and general classification grouping. You may also search for a species by its scientific or common name. Leave all checkboxes unchecked to search for species in all lakes, rivers, and domains.

Lakes (check all that apply to your query):




Results table legend:

Columns after the common name(s) indicate the lakes, rivers, or environmental domains that a species has been observed in.

  • S = Lake Superior
  • M = Lake Michigan
  • H = Lake Huron
  • E = Lake Erie
  • O = Lake Ontario
  • StMR = St. Marys River
  • HEC = Huron Erie Corridor - St. Clair River + Lake St. Clair + Detroit River
  • NR = Niagara River
  • AT = Aerial/Terrestrial - species with life stages that are aerial/terrestrial (in addition to aquatic life stages) and/or species found in the splash zone or wet sand beaches of the Great Lakes
  • B = Benthic - living in or on the sediments at the lake bottom
  • Lm = Limnetic - living in the open water
  • Lt = Littoral - living nearshore and/or associated with aquatic plants
  • TW = Tributaries/Wetlands - living in Great Lakes tributaries or wetlands connected to the Great Lakes

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Download Current Results

Below are the results of your most recent query in tab delimited format. From here, you may do any of the following:

  • Copy, paste into a text editor, and save as 'insert_file_name.txt'. You should then be able to open it in your favorite spreadsheet program either directly through the program, or by right-clicking on it and opening it in that program.
  • Copy, and 'import' the text via your favorite spreadsheet program's text import wizard or equivalent
To cite the Great Lakes Water Life database, please use the following: NOAA and USEPA. 2019 Great Lakes Waterlife. Accessed on mm/dd/yyyy.