Drones set sail on Lake Superior to study fish populations

The public is asked to ‘proceed with caution’ when near Saildrone research vessels
Saildrone USV "SD 1047" sailing in the Pacific Ocean.
Saildrone USV "SD 1047" sailing in the Pacific Ocean.(Jenn Virskus | Saildrone)
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 4:38 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Wis. (WLUC) - Beginning Aug. 8, two Uncrewed Surface Vehicles called Saildrones will be released in Lake Superior to study fish populations.

The U.S. Coast Guard is partnering with Saildrone Inc. to research the central and western areas of Lake Superior through Sept. 30. The Saildrones will be launched from Ashland, Wis.

Saildrone Inc. is asking boaters that encounter either of the Saildrones to proceed with caution and remain more than 500 meters away from the research equipment. This will ensure the drones can collect data without human interference and prevent any collisions.

The drones will have track lines nearshore and offshore throughout Lake Superior. Sampling sites include Wisconsin near Madeline Island, Devils Island, Sand Island, Port Wing; Michigan near the upper entry of the Keweenaw Waterway, Ontonagon; Minnesota near Grand Portage, Hovland, Grand Marais, Taconite Harbor, Two Harbors and Duluth. Other sites are near Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

For more information about the Saildrones, contact Saildrone Inc. Mission Control at (510) 722-6070 or via email at missioncontrol@saildrone.com or contact the Marine Safety Unit Duluth at (218) 725-380.

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