Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
End of an Era: MV Togue Sold at Auction
Midwest Region, May 6, 2008
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MV Togue at Alpena NFWCO dock--May 2002.  Photo by Aaron Woldt.
MV Togue at Alpena NFWCO dock--May 2002. Photo by Aaron Woldt. - Photo Credit: n/a
MV Togue at Alpena NFWCO dock--April 2008.  Photo by Aaron Woldt.
MV Togue at Alpena NFWCO dock--April 2008. Photo by Aaron Woldt. - Photo Credit: n/a

On May 6, 2008 the Service’s former lake trout stocking and fishery assessment vessel known as the MV Togue was sold at auction.  The public auction, which ran from April 22 to May 6 on GSAAuctions.gov, closed with a winning bid of $54,550 and officially ended the MV Togue’s 18 year history of stocking and fishery assessment in the upper Great Lakes.  The MV Togue will be removed from the Alpena National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (NFWCO) dock by its new owners by May 19.  The MV Spencer F. Baird, christened in September 2006, replaced the MV Togue and is currently used by the Service to stock lake trout and conduct fishery assessments in Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior.

The MV Togue was acquired by the Service in January 1987 in a U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida consent judgment.  Service crew brought the vessel to its home port of Cheboygan, Michigan in Spring 1987.  The vessel, originally built as a shrimp trawler, was retro-fit in Rogers City, Michigan in Spring 1989.  During the retro-fit, eight under deck fish tanks capable of holding 7,500 gallons of water combined were added to the vessel to house hatchery produced fish.  From 1989 to 2006, the MV Togue stocked over 60 million lake trout fingerlings and yearlings in the upper Great Lakes in support of agency lake trout rehabilitation efforts.

Prior to sale, Alpena NFWCO staff and MV Baird vessel crew removed over 75 unique items from the Togue for historical preservation.  Removed items include the vessel steering wheel, pilot house chair, chart desk, compass, life rings, fire axes, fish tank aerator controls, and other instruments.  Fishery Biologist Aaron Woldt has been working with staff from NCTC and the Service Heritage Committee to ensure that these artifacts will be preserved and used to create a display at NCTC documenting the MV Togue’s historic importance to lake trout restoration efforts in the Great Lakes.  Smaller artifacts will also be displayed at regional lake trout production facilities (Iron River National Fish Hatchery (NFH), Jordan River NFH, Pendills Creek NFH).  These facilities rear and deliver all lake trout stocked off the MV Togue and MV Baird.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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