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Ongoing project: EPA GLNPO Great Lakes monitoring program

Lars Rudstam, Jim Watkins, Toby Holda, Annie Scofield, Nicole Saavedra, Lyndsie Collis, Joseph Connolly, Xiufeng Zhang, Alexander Karatayev, Lyuba Burlakova, Susan Daniel, SUNY Buffalo State (Funded by EPA Region 5 Great Lakes Program Office, Chicago) 

GLNPO monitors all five Great Lakes each April and August aboard their 180 ft. vessel, the Lake Guardian. The ship has state of the art sampling equipment including a Seabird CTD (equipped with sensors for temperature, dissolved oxygen, light, particles and chlorophyll and onboard laboratory facilities. They also have traditional nets and dredges for plankton and benthic sampling. The Guardian provides the capability to continuously sample throughout the Great Lakes for up to a month and sample any depth within the Great Lakes. In 2015, we continued to collect and analyze samples for chlorophyll, zooplankton, mysid shrimp, and benthos (Buffalo State). We also explored advanced technology (i.e. hydroacoustics and Triaxus array) in comparison with our traditional measurements. These tools provide high-resolution measurements on horizontal and vertical spatial scales. Zooplankton and mysid samples from these surveys are brought back to CBFS for analysis by our technician team in our laboratory. For the spring 2015 survey we enjoyed the participation of visiting scientist Xiufeng Zhang who began his stay with a tour of all five Great Lakes and several Midwestern cities. He wrote about this experience in a Society for Limnology (SIL) newsletter. We did experience some rough seas in 2015- spring in Lake Huron and summer in Lake Superior got to the point where sampling was suspended and the Lake Guardian had to seek shelter.