VILAS COUNTY - A warming climate could have significant impacts on Northwoods streams. Warming streams, in turn, could put pressure on trout populations in those waterways.
"If we think about streams, it is changing, and that's going to potentially change what can live here and the habitats that are available," said Dr. Noah Lottig, an assistant scientist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction. "We've seen that across a whole range of things and a wide variety of studies."
A report by the U.S. Geological Survey projects average temperatures on three streams in Vilas County could rise significantly by the year 2100.
Trout need colder stream temperatures. Warming streams could be damaging to trout survival.
"There's a potential in the future that these streams will be too warm to support trout habitat anymore," Lottig said.
The USGS did its temperature modeling on Stevenson Creek, North Creek, and Upper Allequash Creek in the Trout Lake watershed.