History of the Alpena Fisheries Research Station

The Alpena Fisheries Station was established in 1969 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to provide for fisheries research needs of Lake Huron. The establishment of the station was part of a series of research stations created by the DNR around the state. The station was housed at the old M-32 DNR Field Station until moving to its present location in 1996.

Early Alpena Fisheries Station
Early Alpena Fisheries Station

The first station manager was Randy Eshenroder who left to join the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in 1990. The station was jointly managed for a time by the Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station manager; Meryl Keller. Jim Johnson managed the station from 1992 to 2015. The current manager is Todd Wills who also manages the Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Stationpena in 1992.

The current location is located at the mouth of the Thunder Bay River in Alpena, MI.

Alpena Fisheries Research Station
Alpena Fisheries Research Station

Numerous improvements have made to the site including the replacement of the sea wall in 2002.

A fixture of the Alpena Fisheries Research Station since its inception has been the station's research vessel. The current vessel is the R/V Tanner which replaced the aging Research Vessel Chinook. The 57' Tanner is the station's principal platform for sampling and field work on Lake Huron. The R/V Chinook is now a museum piece at the Jesse Besser Museum in Alpena.

Numerous researchers have called the Alpena Fisheries Research Station home over the years and numerous research projects and publications have stemmed from its 35 year history. Collectively providing for the information and management needs of the DNR and State of Michigan.