Overview of DNR's Research Vessel Program & Fact Sheet
The Great Lakes are significant on a worldwide scale, as they contain 20 percent of the world's freshwater. Michigan, which includes 43 percent of the Great Lakes, has a considerable responsibility in the protection, management and rehabilitation of this important freshwater resource.
To meet our public trust responsibilities, Fisheries Division funds and operates four research vessels to investigate, monitor and evaluate the status of aquatic habitats and fisheries resources of the Great Lakes. The four research vessels (R/V) and survey vessels (S/V) are:
- RV Tanner -- Lake Huron at Alpena
- SV Steelhead and the smaller RV Pimephales -- Lake Michigan at Charlevoix
- RV Lake Char -- Lake Superior at Marquette
- RV Channel Cat -- Lake St. Clair at Mount Clemens
These vessels are essential to fulfill the division's constitutional and statutory responsibilities as trustee for the preservation of public resources in Michigan waters of the Great Lakes. Work performed by these vessels includes evaluations of fish population abundance levels, survival, age structure, growth, behavioral patterns, movements, reproductive ecology, as well as diet for fish stocks. Work conducted on DNR vessels often involves collaboration with other state, federal and tribal agencies.
To learn more about the work of our research vessels, check out our annual newsletter!