Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Northwoods limnologists trudge onto ice to continue lake measurements in winterSubmitted: 02/03/2016

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


BOULDER JUNCTION - Several times each winter month, Tim Meinke and his team members bundle up, pack their snowmobile with scientific instruments, and head onto the ice.

They're limnologists at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction, and they study lakes. The team is proving that lake study isn't just a summertime job.


"We occasionally run into fishermen going on or off the lake," said Meinke, a senior researcher at the station. "No one ever suspects that we're there for anything other than fishing."

Meinke made that comment while sticking an instrument through the ice on Crystal Lake near Boulder Junction. A passerby could be forgiven for thinking he was ice fishing.

But Meinke and his three-member team weren't there to fish. Instead, they were measuring the levels of zooplankton, oxygen, light, and other environmental forces affecting the water.

But waitódon't limnologists take those measurements only in the summer, when lakes are changing dynamically?

"The common perception is, in the winter, not much happens," said Noah Lottig, a research scientist at the station.

But the lakes are staying busy, so limnologists do too.

"For the most part, lakes are surprisingly active," Lottig said. "There are a lot of different types of chemical reactions that are going on, changes in the chemistry of lakes, and also changes in the biology."

"The idea that it's just a storage refrigerator under there for the winter is pretty common, and we're learning that that's not really true," Meinke agreed.

About 35 years worth of dedicated research on seven Northwoods lakesóboth in summer and in winteróhas shown the change in those lakes to be nearly constant. 

The scientists put their measurements into an database called Long Term Ecological Research.Those measurements give scientists a better view of what's happening with the plankton, plants, chemical makeup, and even fish under the water'sóor ice'sósurface.

"If we could, we wouldn't say [It's] a dog-eat-dog world," Meinke said. "It would be a fish-eat-fish world, because it can get pretty vicious down there."


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

SCHOFIELD - Normally when we think of recycling, bottles and glass come to mind. But on Saturday, several hundred expired and damaged car seats were recycled at the Schofield Fire Department.

'Safe Kids Wausau' hosted the event so people could drop off old car seats.

Coordinators say almost all car seats expire after six years. Some people don't realize expired car seats could be dangerous.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - People from all over the world showed their support for Earth Day on Saturday.

More than 800 people in the Wausau community did their part to make the community a cleaner place.

Over the last eight years, the Ghidorzi Green & Clean event has helped get rid of more than 17 tons of trash from the area.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Some 10,000 people marched in Washington D.C. on Saturday in support of science. 
 
The march was, in part, a response to some of the current administration's proposed budget cuts.

The event expanded far beyond D.C. with more than 600 marches taking place worldwide. One of those marches was in the Northwoods.

+ Read More

NORTHWOODS - People often reflect on what they can do to help the environment on Earth Day. 

There were several Earth Day-related events going on in the Northwoods on Saturday.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - When times get rough, most of us turn to our families for support. But sometimes during that struggle a whole new family is found.

Looking through old picture albums brings back memories for most of us.

"You just embrace those moments. I was thankful she could walk at that time," said Terry Vullings as she looked at pictures of her daughter, Megan, using a walker at the age of four. "You take those good things however they come."

+ Read More

WISCONSIN - MADISON, Wis. (AP) -  A new report from the American Society of Civil Engineers says Wisconsin will have $7 billion in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs in the next 20 years.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports the state is already facing water problems, such as the pollution of nearly one-third of private wells in Kewaunee County and the possible contamination of nearly 2,000 La Crosse County wells.



+ Read More

PRICE COUNTY - A former U.S. Airman convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl will live in Price County.

The Price County Sheriff announced Keith D. Jones' release on Friday.

According to a press release, Jones pled guilty to the charges in an Air Force court at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma in 2013.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here