Carl Watras

A Changing Pattern
4:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Great Lakes and Little Lakes: Rise and Fall Are Linked Together

Tim Meinke and Carl Watras prepare to visit a groundwater monitoring well near the UW Trout Lake Station.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A new study from the University of Wisconsin’s Trout Lake Station links the rise and fall of Northwoods lakes with the rise and fall of the Great Lakes.  

It also shows some troubling signs of falling water levels in the past twenty years - that break the cycle of the last seventy.  And it’s not clear what’s driving these changes.  

 “So here’s one with a lid that’s coming off relatively easily.  And so now with the lid off and our well open..." 

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Seminal Study
5:26 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Goodbye Little Rock Lake Curtain

DNR research technician Jeff Rubsam helps remove a thick plastic barrier dividing Little Rock Lake.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A landmark study on acid rain came to an end today.  Researchers took down a barrier that’s divided Little Rock Lake in two for nearly thirty years.  Dismantling the curtain was no easy task.

Decades after scientists proved the effects of acid rain on northern lakes, it was time to take down the Little Rock barrier that made the study possible.  Fifteen researchers, students and divers were on hand for the challenge:  how to dismantle a 250-foot curtain…made of heavy black plastic, and partially submerged under years of sediment. 

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End of an Era
3:46 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Landmark Study Ending on Little Rock

Hourglass-shaped Little Rock Lake has been divided for 30 years.
Credit LIFE Magazine

Thirty years of scientific study on a Vilas County lake will come to an end on Monday. 

Scientists are removing a barrier that has divided Little Rock Lake in two since 1984.  Researchers installed the barrier to conduct a landmark study on the effects of acid rain.  Carl Watras is a research scientist with the state Department of Natural Resources. He's been involved with the Little Rock project since the beginning.  Watras says at the time there was speculation about the effect of acid rain on lakes, but there was no definitive evidence.

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