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USGS Awards Contract for New Lake Superior Fisheries Researc



News Release
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Great Lakes Science Center
1451 Green Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
     
Release Upon Receipt (June 10, 1998)
     
Contact  Nancy Milton 734-214-7200
             John Gannon  734-214-7237
     
USGS Awards Contract for New Lake Superior Fisheries Research Vessel
     
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has awarded a $2,825,000 contract to Patti 
Shipyard, Inc., in Pensacola, Fla, to build a new vessel for Lake Superior 
fisheries
research.
     
The new vessel will replace the Siscowet, which is now the oldest (built in 
1946)
and slowest (maximum speed 8.7 knots) vessel in the USGS Great Lakes research 
fleet. The new vessel will be larger and faster than the Siscowet and will 
allow
for an expanded research program on Lake Superior by USGS scientists and 
partners.
     
The new research vessel, to be homeported near Bayfield, Wis., will provide a 
mobile base for research, monitoring and assessment of fish populations and 
their habitats throughout Lake Superior, the world's largest lake by surface 
area.  Scientists with the USGS Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., 
 and its Lake Superior Biological Station in Ashland, Wis. will use the vessel 
to expand long-term research on Lake Superior fish populations in partnership 
with state, tribal, provincial, and other federal agencies.
     
"Effective management of lake trout and other top predators in Lake Superior 
requires information on the distribution, survival and growth of naturally 
produced and stocked fishes," said Dr. Nancy Milton, director of the USGS 
center. "This vessel will enable us to provide that information more 
effectively."
     
In addition, said Milton, "concurrent information is needed on prey fishes 
such as lake herring, chubs, alewife, and sculpins that the top predator 
fishes
feed upon".  A team of fishery biologists and technicians will deploy nets 
and acoustic technology from the new vessel to obtain accurate and timely 
scientific information on the interactions between predator and prey fish 
species so that resource managers can develop appropriate management 
strategies.
     
USGS is the only agency in the U.S. or Canada operating fishery research 
vessels with offshore capability on each of the five Great Lakes.  Although 
the new vessel's home port will be near Bayfield, Wis., it will operate out of 
ports throughout Lake Superior as dictated by fishery and habitat research 
needs.
     
In Pensacola, Fla., an estimated 40 people will help build the new fishery 
research vessel for Lake Superior.  Construction should be completed in 
June 1999, and the vessel is expected to be delivered to Lake Superior in 
November 1999.
     
As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science and civilian 
mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2000 
organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial, scientific 
information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This 
information is gathered in every state  by USGS scientists to minimize
the loss of life and property from natural disasters, to contribute to the 
conservation and the sound economic and physical development of the
nation's natural resources, and to enhance the quality of life by monitoring 
water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     


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From: Trudy Harlow <tharlow@usgs.gov>
Subject: USGS Awards Contract for New Lake Superior Fisheries Research
 Vessel