About the R/V Chinook
Designed and built by Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin in 1946-1947 the "Chinook" was first commissioned as a Department of Conservation Great Lakes Law Enforcement vessel. She gained her present name in 1968 when she was transferred to the Fisheries Division's Alpena Great Lakes Station, where she has served as the DNR's research platform for all of Lake Huron and the St. Marys River. She is rigged for trawling and gill netting. She is powered by a single 671 General Motors diesel and cruises at 9.7 knots. She requires a crew of 5 to 6 when conducting fishery surveys. Data collected by the Chinook the last 36 years have been instrumental in measuring impacts of sea lampreys on trout and salmon and effects of fish stocking and fishery management on Lake Huron's fish stocks. Particularly noteworthy are the Chinook's survey results since 2000 which show pronounced improvements in lake trout survival and declines in sea lamprey attacks caused by the concerted effects of the Year 2000 Consent Decree with the 1836 tribes of Chippewa-Ottawas and enhanced control of sea lampreys in the St. Marys River.
The chinook has served the Department exceptionally well. Next year, at 58 years of age, the Chinook is scheduled to be decommissioned and become a permanent exhibit in the historic dry dock at Detroit's Tricentennial Park. She will be laid up just as she was on completion of her last survey, with all the equipment right down to the crew's rain gear, on board for public view. She will be replaced by the "Chinook II", next year. Design work for the new research vessel is 60% complete and is on the drafting table of Tim Graul Naval Architects.
R/V Chinook at home port with new aluminum canopy
R/V Chinook under way in Saginaw Bay
Proposed design of Chinook II