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August 5, 2022

ASHLAND, Wis. — Reporters are invited to an event Tuesday, August 9, showcasing the use of sailboat-like drones, autonomous underwater vehicles, large research vessels and other state-of-art technologies to improve Great Lakes fishery research.

The U.S. Geological Survey and partners will deploy advanced technologies on Lake Superior this summer to better understand the $7 billion per year Great Lakes fishery. The information collected will be used by managers to sustain and support the Great Lakes’ valuable natural resources.

R/V Kiyi
The USGS Research Vessel Kiyi. 

WHAT: The USGS and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission will formally welcome government leaders, fishery managers, elected officials and other partners to Ashland to celebrate the use of advanced technologies in Great Lakes fisheries research and to kick off a multi-partner, month-long fisheries research mission. The event will include displays of innovative technologies that scientists will deploy during the mission and tours of the 107-foot USGS research vessel Kiyi

An unmanned aquatic vehicle in action, partially submerged
An uncrewed underwater vehicle.

WHO: The event is hosted by the USGS and the GLFC. Scientists and other leadership from the USGS, the GLFC, Saildrone, Inc., Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, partner agencies and elected officials will be available for interviews following the ceremony. Speakers will include:

  • U.S. Congressman Tom Tiffany
  • Tanya Trujillo, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Anne Kinsinger, Associate Director, USGS Ecosystems Mission Area
  • Robert Lambe, Executive Secretary, Great Lakes Fisheries Commission
  • Russell Strach, Director, USGS Great Lakes Science Center

WHEN: Tuesday, August 9, 2022, from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CDT

WHERE: The dock for the USGS Research Vessel Kiyi, corner of 6th Street and Water Street, Ashland, Wisconsin (map).

RSVP: The event hosts encourage reporters to RSVP ahead of the event by contacting Jill Wingfield at and Marisa Lubeck at   

The USGS will lead the Lake Superior research project this August-September in partnership with state, Tribal, private, non-profit and Canadian partners, including: the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin; the Grand Portage and Red Cliff bands of Lake Superior Chippewa; the Province of Ontario; Saildrone, Inc.; and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

For more information about USGS science in the Great Lakes, please visit the USGS Great Lakes Science Center website.

Saildrone in the Ocean Near San Francisco
A remotely-crewed sailing drone. (Courtesy: Saildrone. Used with express permission.)

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