Resources for Researchers

Researchers may request support from various partnering facilities and organizations.

Research Facilities

Hammond Bay Biological Station (HBBS), located near Millersburg, Michigan, is a field station of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission and U.S. Geological Survey partner through a Collaborative Agreement to jointly manage and operate HBBS. Scientists at HBBS conduct research and provide technical support to the commission and its sea lamprey control agents, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The station research focuses on all sea lamprey life stages; HBBS scientists also conduct cutting edge research on the biology and ecology of other fishes, such as lake trout, walleye, whitefish, and cisco. HBBS is a research hub for the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS), where staff coordinate, manage data, generate R analytical methods, and participate in the GLATOS network.

In 2019, a $9 million renovation was completed to upgrade the facilities to accommodate a range of invasive species research. A new biologically-contained laboratory, one-million-gallon water tank, and pump house were constructed during 2015-2019. The new lab has two indoor raceways, a chemistry lab, bioassay lab, wet fish processing lab, dry fish processing lab, tank room for holding live fish, and an outdoor tank area. Live fish holding capabilities include: eleven temperature-controlled and four ambient lake water tanks (5-8-ft diameter); forty-two temperature-controlled and sixty ambient lake water aquaria (23-L, 40-L, and 204-L sizes); and twelve outdoor ambient lake water tanks (4-ft diameter) for holding larval sea lampreys. The lab is supplied with Lake Huron water, which is UV-treated and filtered before entering and exiting the facility (excepting water leaving the raceway room). Water treatment allows research to be conducted on species that threaten invasion into the Great Lakes as well as genetically modified organisms, keeping HBBS science at the forefront of invasive species research and management.

The Hammond Bay Biological Station laboratory layout provides detailed information on the space and equipment available to researchers. Researchers requesting infrastructure and technical support from HBBS are asked to complete and submit a HBBS Facility and Equipment Request Form. Researchers applying for funding from the GLFC should submit the form with their full proposal. Non-commission funded researchers should submit forms directly to Nick Johnson, HBBS Facility Coordinator, at GLFC-funded research is given priority relative to all other requests. For more information about the facility and equipment available, contact Nick Johnson at

Research Animals

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada to provide sea lamprey for researchers. Researchers applying for funding through the Sea Lamprey Research Program should submit a Sea Lamprey Procurement Form with their full proposal. Researchers should note the life stage limitations listed within the form. Outside researchers interested in sea lamprey for research should contact the Sea Lamprey Research Program Associate ( for more information on availability.

Data Access

The Great Lakes Observing System, or GLOS, is a 501c3 non-profit organization that coordinates Great Lakes data collection, management, and sharing. GLOS makes available both real-time and historical datasets including biological, bathymetric, and water condition data. Datasets housed through GLOS include the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System, which provides records of tagged fish and the newly formed Great Lakes Bottom Mapping Workgroup that is coordinating and will make available high quality bathymetric and benthic community data.

The Real-time Aquatic Ecosystem Observation Network (RAEON) is funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation and provides instruments, technical expertise, and data management for Canadian researchers and partners for research on the Great Lakes. The majority of instruments are in situ, placed in lakes to collect continuous and often real-time data, and measure a wide variety of parameters from water quality (dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, temperature, etc.) to acoustically tagged fish. Instruments are loaned to researchers for a low or nominal fee, and agreements include data management that is part of the Great Lakes Observing System. Please visit the RAEON website for lists of instruments and instructions on requesting instruments.

The Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Framework is a comprehensive spatial framework, database, and classification for Great Lakes ecological data. Available tools include a spatial database of available ecological data for the entire Great Lakes basin, and visualization tools & maps including a web-based, publicly accessible geospatial map viewer and decision support tool.

Quantitative Support

Michigan State University’s Quantitative Fisheries Center (QFC) owes its existence to the Commission and Michigan DNR PERM agreements with MSU-FW and is an essential partner to the Commission’s science and fishery management programs. The QFC was established at Michigan State University in July 2005 to (1) build greater capacity within fishery management agencies to use quantitative methods; (2) improve quantitative methods for assessing fish stocks; (3) assist agencies in the use of model-based approaches to decision making; and (4) develop a better understanding of fish community and population dynamics. The QFC is jointly funded by Michigan State University, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Michigan DNR, Ohio DNR, Minnesota DNR, Wisconsin DNR, Illinois DNR, Pennsylvania FBC, New York State DEC, Ontario MNRF, and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. The QFC provides three main services to partner agencies: (1) innovative research on new approaches for quantitative science in support of fishery management; (2) outreach to assist in continued application of decision tools developed through partnerships with fishery agencies, and; (3) training in quantitative fishery techniques for graduate students and mid-career professionals in fishery management agencies. Since its inception, the QFC has been jointly led by two professors in MSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, James Bence and Michael Jones.