The Michigan Department of Natural Resources\u2019 large fisheries research vessels are starting their annual fish surveys on the Great Lakes and will be making their way to several ports throughout the summer. Enthusiasts can see the vessels in port and talk with the crews about their work.\u00a0The vessels are based out of Marquette, Alpena, Charlevoix and Harrison Township harbors, and four different vessels will be out on the waters throughout the state. \u201cThe staff on these vessels are working on a wide variety of studies to better understand Great Lakes fish communities, population sizes and habitats,\u201d Gary Whelan, DNR fisheries research manager, said in a press release. \u201cTheir work and the knowledge gained are essential to supporting current and future fisheries management.\u201d Tanner Surveys on Lake Huron are conducted by the research vessel Tanner. The vessel will look in to the sunrise coast\u2019s lake trout, walleye, yellow perch and forage fish populations \u2014 this also includes time in Saginaw Bay and Les Cheneaux Islands in the Upper Peninsula. The Tanner visits the St. Marys River every five years and analyzes fish communities in collaboration with partnering agencies. The next scheduled survey stop is in August 2022. Channel Cat Research on lakes St. Clair and Erie is done by the Channel Cat. This vessel will examine walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass and lake sturgeon. Some of the highest fishing effort seen throughout Michigan and the Great Lakes. There will be a predator fish survey on\u00a0Lake St. Clair\u00a0that is part of the recently initiated lake-wide fish community assessment \u2014 which includes the Michigan DNR, the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Lake Char The Lake Char will conduct surveys on Lake Superior and assesses the status of the lake's self-sustaining lake trout and lake whitefish populations along with other cold water fish. Lake Char will take a trip to Isle Royale for deep water lake trout spawning habitat assessment, tag lake trout at Superior Shoals with archival tags that record depth and temperature and an assessment of lake trout populations at Big Reef. Lake Char is also going to assist with lake trout tagging in support of ongoing assessment of the Buffalo Reef stamp sands evaluation. Steelhead On Lake Michigan, Steelhead will focus in on yellow perch, lake whitefish, lake trout, Chinook salmon and forage fish populations. This year kicks off with the spring gill net survey. Surveys will be conducted at seven different ports throughout the state including St. Joseph, South Haven, Saugatuck, Grand Haven, Arcadia, Leland and Charlevoix. Due to the broad scope and multispecies, the survey provides the DNR with a comprehensive picture of the status of adult Lake Michigan fish populations. Steelhead will also go to Sault Ste. Marie for its five-year haul-out and dry dock work before returning to Lake Michigan in August to complete the lakewide acoustic survey, a multi-agency effort to collect data on large populations of alewife, rainbow smelt, bloater chub and additional prey fish throughout Lake Michigan using hydroacoustic measurements (a high-tech, recordable fishfinder). Work in fall 2022 includes the annual lakewide bottom trawl survey and assessments of northern Lake Michigan reefs.