Saildrone’s fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) has proven its data collection capabilities over seven years of operation from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Now, these ocean drones have entered a new maritime domain: the Great Lakes.
Two Saildrone Explorers were deployed from Macatawa, Michigan, for a 45-day fisheries mission on behalf of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center (GSLC).
North America’s Great Lakes make up the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem. The Great Lakes support a $7 billion commercial and recreational fishing industry, but human-caused and natural changes like degraded habitat, climate and invasive mussels threaten the health of popular fisheries such as lake trout, whitefish, walleye and northern pike.