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Michigan invests $34M for fish hatchery upgrades, new survey vessel

July 14, 2022  By Hatchery International staff

The current vessel has been in operation for 54 years. (Photo: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that it has earmarked US$34 million in next year’s budget to go towards upgrading its fish hatchery programs.

According to the U.S. state’s website, $30 million will go towards fish hatchery infrastructure improvements, including upgrading production water supplies, replace roofs, upgrade outdated electrical systems, upgrade water aeration systems, replace old backup generators, repair/replace deteriorating asphalt and provide biosecurity enhancements to support fish health.

“Upgrading electrical distribution systems, replacing outdated backup power supplies and improving water supplies would all reduce the likelihood of catastrophic fish loss and increase our ability to manage disease issues,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “Overall, this investment will improve rearing conditions, which will translate into more consistent fish production levels and high-quality fish.”

An additional $4 million has been allocated to replacing an outdated Grate Lakes fisheries survey vessel. The current vessel has been in operation for 54 years. The new vessel will play a “vital role” in conducting continued research and surveys of the Great Lakes.


“The S/V Steelhead is more than 20 years older than the average Great Lakes research vessel, which means we are spending more each year on maintenance issues and increasingly struggle to find parts to keep the vessel operational,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “Given the age, maintenance costs and large carbon footprint of this survey vessel, a replacement is necessary to provide the needed level of assessment capabilities to meet fisheries management information requirements.”


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