Ships → Lake Char

  • General Info
  • Schedule Info
  • Operational Info
  • Lab Equipment
  • Navigational Info
  • Lift Capacity
  • Fish and Plankton Gear
  • Meteorological Equipment
  • Certification Details
  • Institution & Contact Info
Name: Lake Char
Captain: Rathbun, Kevin
Length: 56 feet
Beam: 16 feet
Draft: 4.5 feet
Speed: 19 knots
Displacement: 26.5 tons
Hull: Aluminum Displacement
Year: 2006


The R/V Lake Char was built as a replacement for the R/V Judy which has been used on Lake Superior since 1981. The primary duties of the R/V Lake Char are conducting the gill net survey work of adult and pre-recruit lake trout on Lake Superior. The vessel is designed to accommodate additional survey gear for future studies such as equipment used for trawling, trap netting, deep-water gill netting and hydroacoustic studies. The R/V Lake Char is powered with twin Caterpillar C-12 diesel engines which are rated at 454 bhp each. During the 2019 field season the crew collected 4874 fish of various species in 221,100 feet (41.9 statue miles) of gill net. The Lake Char had 390 hours of sea time.  For more information see: Michigan DNR site.

Added trawling gear and hydro acoustic equipment to help aid in our research on Lake Superior 

1st Period 2nd Period
Crew Size ( inc. Captain ): Minimum of 4
Number of Scientists Vessel can Accommodate: 0
Field Season: April-November
Operation Days / Year: Varies
Schedule Finalized in: Varies

- No, does not contain option.   - Yes, contains option.
Science Officer in Crew?:
Crew Provides Onboard Science Support?:
Payment In Kind? Time on Another Ship?
Fuel as a type of "Payment in Kind"?
Needed Equipment as a type of "Payment In Kind"?
"Piggyback" Research Permitted When Possible?
Encourage Crosstraining other Agencies with Vessel and Crew?
Vessel made available to outside Researchers?

Outside Research Payment: No
Electrical Power: 20 kw generator and 50A/250V shore power
Water Supplies: Hot and Cold available
Refrigerators / Freezers: 5 cubic ft. upright freezer
Incubators / Water Baths:
Vacuum Pumps:
P.H. Meters:
D.O. Meters:
Lab Space: 186 Square feet
Radar: RayMarine Pathfinder 55 4kw 4 ft. open array
GPS: RayMarine GPS 125 w/ E120 Display
Radio: ICOM 602 VHF radio w/ hailer, Uniden Solara DSC
Depth Sounders: RayMarine DSM 300 Sounder
Winches / Cranes: Amko Veba Deck Crane, Crossley 30
CTD`s BT`s:
Niskin Bottles:
Grabs: Ponar sediment sampler
Trawl Nets: None
Plankton Nets: None
Wind Speed / Direction: RayMarine ST 60 test
Institution Required Certification:
Certification Captain: USCG 50 ton Master
Certification Crew:
Certification Engineer:
Home Port: Marquette, Michigan
Home Port Lake: Lake Superior
Institution: MDNR-Marquette Fisheries Research Station
Contact Name: Kevin Rathbun
Address: 488 Cherry Creek Road
City: Marquette
State / Province: MI
Country: United States
Postal / Zip Code: 49855
Phone: (906) 249 - 1611 ext
Fax: (906) 249 - 3190
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