Trout Lake Research Station

Only a Handful of Wisconsin Lakes
4:00 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Spiny Water Flea Found in Trout Lake

Vilas County’s Trout Lake has a new invasive species.  Spiny water fleas were found earlier this week by a fisherman who noticed them attached to his gear. 

Jake Walsh, PhD student at the UW Madison Center for Limnology, says the finding is significant because there aren’t many northern lakes that have the invasive. 

“Given how much Trout Lake means to Vilas County I would say it’s a huge deal.  Also that we found them here at a pretty high density I would say is a pretty big deal.”

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Meet Your Local Limnologists
4:35 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Trout Lake Station to Welcome Public for Open House

UW Madison's Trout Lake Research Station is hosting an open house.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Trout Lake Research Station is inviting the public to step inside a limnologist’s world for an afternoon.

It’s holding an open house this Friday.

Trout Lake Station Director Tim Kratz says the research that scientists do at the station is relevant to a lot of people in the Northwoods.

“And one of the things we want to do is to help communicate some of the results that we’ve found. but also to hear from the community and visitors about what their concerns about lakes are, or what questions they might have.”

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More Than 70 Years of Data
4:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Citizen Science Data Show Improving Water Clarity in Northwoods Lakes

Boom Lake, Rhinelander
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A new study on lake clarity across eight Midwestern states relies solely on data from citizen scientists.

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Noah Lottig, a research scientist based at the UW Madison Trout Lake Station, about the study’s significance.

The records dated back to the late 1930s and spanned eight Midwestern states.  The trend across more than three thousand lakes was a slight increase in water clarity.  And in Wisconsin and Minnesota, that trend was stronger in the northern regions.

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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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Shifting Patterns of Development
4:00 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Documenting Land Use Change, Around the World

Radeloff looks at satellite images like this one of the Rospuda Valley, Poland.
Credit NASA Landsat

We turn now to a conversation with Volker Radeloff, a University of Wisconsin Professor who studies how land use policy affects wildlife.  

Radeloff was the guest at last week’s Science on Tap discussion at the Minocqua Brewing Company.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski caught up with him afterwards.  

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Science on Tap is Back
3:28 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Science on Tap Brings Overseas Adventure Stories

Land-use research often relies on satellite images, like this one of Yaroslavl, Russia.
Credit NASA

After a summer hiatus Science on Tap is resuming Wednesday, with a discussion of land use…but with a bit of a world traveler twist.

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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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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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Science in the Northwoods
4:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Small Lake, Big Picture

Matthew Rethaber WXPR News

Say you’re a scientist who studies lakes.  How do you choose which one to to study?  Chances are you’ll pick one that’s a pretty good size…like Trout Lake, or Crystal Lake.  You might pick one with a lot of species of fish, or one the public uses for recreation.  But what about the tiny lakes…the backyard ones so small they may not even have names, or the ones that dry up completely when it doesn’t rain for a while?

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