New research vessels for Great Lakes

reprinted from (WKSU)

USGS uses stimulus money to buy high-tech boatsThe soon to be replaced R/V Musky II, the smallest research vessel in the USGS fleet, was built in 1960.
The soon to be replaced R/V Musky II, the smallest research vessel in the USGS fleet, was built in 1960. (pictured left)

Fisheries experts and biologists are getting new tools to protect the Great Lakes. The US Geological Survey is spending 8 million dollars in federal stimulus money to buy two new research vessels for Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The ships are being built by Great Lakes Towing in Cleveland.

Patrick Kocovsky, head of the Lake Erie Biological Station, says he’ll use the 70-foot-long ship based in Sandusky to study water conditions and fish populations.
“It will have advanced electronics capabilities for doing things like bathymetric mapping and hydro-acoustic assessments.”
Those instruments show contours of the lake bottom and indicate where schools of fish are swimming.

Kocovsky says among the major threats to Lake Erie are invasive species, such as the Asian carp, and polluted runoff.

An Estimated 800,000 Jobs at Risk if Asian Carp is not Halted

(From WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), a member of the congressional Great Lakes Task Force, today reinforced his calls to close the Chicago locks to prevent Asian carp from infiltrating the Great Lakes Watershed. Upton is a cosponsor of the CARP ACT, H.R. 4472, which will immediately close the locks in …

Asian Carp found in Chicago Waterway System

June 24, 2010
GLSFC Special Bulletin
Asian Carp Found in Chicago Area Waterway System
A 20 lb, 35″ Bighead was netted in Lake Calumet, 6 miles from Lake Michigan
One Bighead Asian carp was found on June 23, in Lake Calumet along the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS). This is the first physical specimen that has been found in the waterway system above the Electric Barrier System.  The Bighead carp was found in Lake Calumet which sits between T. J. O’Brien Lock/Dam and Lake Michigan. The find was made in the northwest corner of the lake, approximately six miles downstream of Lake Michigan by a commercial fisherman under contract to the I DNR during routine sampling efforts in the area. The fish was measured to be 34.6″ long and weighed 19.6 lbs.

Great Lakes Water levels Continue Downward

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicates water levels could drop below chart datum by October. At the end of May, Michigan-Huron levels were about five inches above chart datum, which is the reference point used on navigational charts to measure the depth of water throughout the lakes. The water level graphs over the years …

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