The Great Lakes Research Vessel Operations data release is taken from the Research Vessel Catch (RVCAT) database curated at the Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC). RVCAT has been used as the primary data collection tool aboard the GLSCs research vessel operations.
The data set has been collected on various vessel operations on all the Great Lakes and select connecting waterways between the years 1958-2018. Data collection begins in early spring and ends in late fall. Each vessel operation was completed for a specific purpose, or target mission, which are enumerated in this data set. In addition to vessel operations data, RVCAT collects trawl and gillnet catch data, sample information of fish species caught, as well as effort applied. The data set also contains data on benthos samples collected. Although not included in this data release, the GLSC collects or collected zebra mussel, hydroacoustics, ichthyoplankton, and zooplankton data in relation to vessel operations.
These data are collected at the GLSC in the RVCAT Oracle database. The RVCAT database that is the basis for the following data release has been broken down into over 100 tables in order to facilitate greater accessibility. For ease of use, these tables are organized into conceptual groups: Operations, Trawl, Gillnet, Mensuration, Mysis, Benthos Ponar, and Reference. The database structure is described within the metadata record (XML) and entity relationship diagram within each concept group web page.
An updated version of the data will be published at least yearly, which will include new operations data, show any changes to the database structure, and have more quality control applied to the data from previous releases. The metadata will also be updated alongside these data releases in order to describe the data at that time of publication. See the revision history document to follow the structural changes to the database over each data release.
Note that the following data release is a snapshot of the database at the time of release. Some data quality checks are still being undertaken after the time of release. Also, a large section of this database includes legacy data that if issues arise for cannot be addressed, but nevertheless adds great value to the database. When approaching the following data release, it is strongly suggested to approach the Great Lakes Science Center s researchers for input.
Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.