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Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson
Photo by WDNR

OPERATOR: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Fisheries

Station, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

HOMEPORT: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The annual operating season for the GAYLORD NELSON begins with a late-May to middle of July yellow perch assessment in southern Lake Michigan followed by a 2 week chinook salmon population survey.  At the same time, a 2 week mid-water alewife trawl begins to assess the population of alewives during yellow perch spawning.  The GAYLORD NELSON then heads to the northern part of Lake Michigan to survey chinook salmon populations  in the Sturgeon Bay area in early July.  The boat then moves to Green Bay where it is used to sample the yellow perch population in Green Bay using bottom  trawls.  The boat then heads back down to Milwaukee assisting the USGS in acoustical sampling of forage fish.  Because of the style of boat, many different types of gear can be used.  Gill nets, mainly graded-mesh (mesh sizes dependent on species) that are fished on the bottom are used for the yellow perch assessment and suspended gill nets that are many meshes deeper are used for the chinook salmon survey. A mid-water trawl is used for the alewife survey while a bottom trawl is used for the Green Bay yellow perch work. 

VESSEL DESCRIPTION: The GAYLORD NELSON is a modified lobster boat previously used in the Atlantic Ocean designed and built in 1992 in Prince Edward Island, Canada.   It is an aluminum-hulled, 45 feet long, a beam of 15 feet, a draft of 5 feet, and a displacement of 12 tons. The work deck is very large and encompasses most of the boat aft of the pilot house. The GAYLORD NELSON is powered by a 350 hp Cummins diesel engine that was installed in 2002. Total engine hours are approximately 200. Onboard electrical power is provided by the boat and a 1500 W power inverter. Deck machinery consists of a Crossley gill-net lifter, 2 trawl winches, a trawl wheel, windlass and a 10-foot stern ramp. Pilothouse electronics includes a ComNav 1000 autopilot installed in 2002, a Simrad radar installed in 2001, a Garmin 210 GPS installed in 2001, a Lowrance GPS installed in 2001,  two marine radios installed in 2001 and a cellular phone.

Contact information
For information on Lake Michigan Fisheries contact:
Bradley Eggold
Last revised: Friday February 26 2016