Come visit new DNR fisheries research vessel at public open house May 23 in Alpena

ALPENA, MI – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host a public open house in Alpena Monday, May 23, and an online live tour Friday, May 20th, 2016, for its soon-to-be dedicated fisheries research vessel (R/V), the 57-foot-long R/V Tanner.

The R/V Tanner, seen here during sea trials, soon will join the DNR's fleet of research vessels.

The R/V Tanner, seen here during sea trials, soon will join the DNR’s fleet of research vessels.

The open house, hosted at the Alpena Fisheries Research Station located at 160 E. Fletcher St., will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. Vessel staff will answer questions about the new vessel and the DNR Fisheries Division’s Great Lakes survey program, while providing an up-close look at this state-of-the-art research tool.

The R/V Tanner will be dedicated Friday, May 20, and will immediately enter into service. It replaces the department’s oldest vessel – the 69-year-old R/V Chinook. The R/V Tanner is named after former DNR Fisheries Division Chief and DNR Director Dr. Howard A. Tanner. It was designed by Seacraft Design of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and built by Andersen Boat Works of Saugatuck, Michigan.

“This vessel has been a long time coming,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “The R/V Tanner will allow the Alpena Fisheries Research Station and its staff to continue to survey fish populations in Lake Huron and the St. Marys River with greatly improved equipment that will expand their abilities to examine and monitor this world-class fishery.”

Live video tour May 20

Those who cannot attend the open house are invited to join the department on its Facebook page at 9 a.m. Friday, May 20, for a live video tour of the R/V Tanner. Viewers can get an up-close look at the new vessel and ask questions of the crew and other fisheries staff in real-time.

The R/V Tanner is one of four fisheries research vessels used by the DNR to examine and monitor Great Lakes fish and aquatic communities. These vessels collect information on all aspects of Michigan’s Great Lakes fish community and the habitat on which it depends.

This information is essential in supporting the department’s mission to conserve, protect and manage the billion-dollar Great Lakes fishery resource for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations and continue assessment and evaluation work begun in the 1960s.

More information about the R/V Tanner, including her 2016 survey schedule, can be found online at the Alpena Fisheries Research Station’s webpage.