New research vessels for Great Lakes
reprinted from (WKSU)
USGS uses stimulus money to buy high-tech boats
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.