Crystal Lake Mixing Project

Warming Up Cold Water Habitat
2:00 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Mixing Experiment Helps Remove Ninety Percent of Invasive Smelt From Crystal Lake

The contraptions used to mix Crystal Lake are called GELIs, short for "Gradual Lake Entrainment Inverters."
Credit Colin Smith / Trout Lake Station

A new way of combating invasive smelt is meeting with mixed success – literally – at the end of a two-year study.  The Crystal Lake Mixing Project was able to get rid of most of the smelt in Crystal Lake…but not all of it.

The mixing project began two years ago at the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Trout Lake Station.  Its main goal was to stir up the layers of Crystal Lake, warming the bottom and making it inhospitable for cold-water-loving smelt, which were harming native populations of walleye and yellow perch.

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Making Life Hard for Rainbow Smelt
4:00 am
Thu July 25, 2013

How to Mix a Lake

Boat J12 is ready to launch on Crystal Lake.
Natalie Jablonski WXPR News

If you frequent lakes in the Northwoods, you know that invasive species are a big problem.  Take rainbow smelt – the tiny fish are known for outcompeting native fish and devouring their young.  Once rainbow smelt get into a lake, it can be all but impossible to get rid of.  Some approaches rely on chemicals that wipe out all fish species.  But one project out of UW’s Trout Lake Research Station is experimenting with a new technique that could have many fewer side effects than the chemical method.  

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