Lake Superior Articles

Discover the Park – Places

Advanced Technology Science Mission to Study Lake Superior Fish Launches in Ashland

Advanced Technology Science Mission to Study Lake Superior Fish Launches in Ashland

Blue skies and a stiff breeze marked the launch ceremony for an advanced technology mission designed to improve the accuracy of fish population measurement in the Apostle Islands and beyond. That breeze will be important, as the wind is what will power two uncrewed sailboat-like drones as they sail predetermined patterns across Lake Superior with solar-powered hydroacoustic equipment and nearly two dozen other scientific instruments onboard. The US Geological Survey (USGS) and and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission invited dignitaries and journalists to the launch event on the dock next to...

New Mission Details: Unmanned Research Vessels Launch in Ashland on Tuesday

New Mission Details: Unmanned Research Vessels Launch in Ashland on Tuesday

Two bright orange, solar-powered sailing vessels will launch from Ashland this week on a mission to study the changing fish populations in the Apostle Islands and across Lake Superior. One goal is to better track the sustainability of lake trout populations, by gathering more precise data about the prey fish the trout eat.Saildrones being assembled at the Great Lakes Science Center Ashland Biological Station dock – Dave Olson photoThe US Geological Survey (USGS) says the month-long fisheries science mission will involve two uncrewed saildrones from Saildrone, Inc., and two two long-range...

Unmanned Sailing Vessels to Study Fish Populations in the Apostle Islands

Unmanned Sailing Vessels to Study Fish Populations in the Apostle Islands

They might be the strangest looking sailboats that you’ve ever seen navigating the Apostles, but later this month, two bright orange saildrones, with no sailors onboard, will be traversing Lake Superior, collecting data about fish populations. Two 23-foot-long Uncrewed Surface Vehicles (USVs) are scheduled to launch from Ashland on August 8th, as part of a research project by the US Geological Survey (USGS). These scientific sailboats operate on wind power and solar power. They will use acoustic, or sound technology to gather fish distribution and density data around-the-clock, near Madeline...

The Big Chill: What causes dramatic changes in Lake Superior water temperatures?

The Big Chill: What causes dramatic changes in Lake Superior water temperatures?

After a hot, sweaty hike, there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the lake at Julian Bay Beach on Stockton Island. If Lake Superior stays calm enough long enough, the shallowest water, warmed by the sun, can be pleasantly refreshing. Wade out farther and you’ll find the significantly colder water just a few feet below the surface. However, if you throw in some wind and waves, the water temperature can and does drop dramatically. On a much larger scale, surface water temperatures in Lake Superior are always changing, as they are in Julian Bay. In late July surface water temperatures on...

“Friends” groups are a collective force for water and land protection

“Friends” groups are a collective force for water and land protection

Your Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore participated in Wisconsin Water Week, a weeklong celebration and study of all things water in our state. This virtual event highlighted innovative ways that groups devoted to protecting the state's most important resource are advancing their work in the face of unprecedented challenges. Erica Peterson Friends of the Apostle Islands Board Chair Erica Peterson was an invited guest on a panel discussing the importance of “Friends” groups in the Wisconsin Lake Superior region. Peterson joined Mike Koutnik from the Lake Superior Reserve in...