Burger Boat Company and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources signed a contract for the construction of a 60-ft research vessel to support expanded study and survey work of the Lake Michigan fisheries.
Named after the fish genus that includes: Lake Whitefish and Lake Herring, the new RV Coregonus will be capable of gill netting and allowing fisheries staff to continue the work done on the previous research ship—the RV Barney Devine.
The RV Coregonus will also have expanded features including onboard laboratory equipment, water tight compartments and a semi-planning hull along with capabilities for scuba operations. RV Coregonus was designed by SeaCraft Design in Sturgeon Bay and will be built by Burger Boat Company.
“Although the RV Barney Devine was well-maintained, it is now nearly 75 years old and has become technologically obsolete with an increasing maintenance expense,” WDNR Secretary Matt Frank said of the previous research vessel also built by Burger.
DNR fisheries staff worked closely with SeaCraft to develop the design that would maintain the ability to use gill nets during all seasons but in the most extreme sea conditions, while expanding its capabilities for research. Its capabilities include trawling and deploying hydroacoustic equipment.
RV Coregonus is expected to be ready for use in 2011.