Trout Lake Research Station

Trout Lake Open House Reveals Much About Lakes

Aug 7, 2015
Jill Zagar photo

At a recent open house for UW Trout Lake Station near Boulder Junction, visitors got to experience research projects "hands on". The annual event  featured  interesting displays telling stories of our lakes  and what is within them.

Vince Butitta, an undergraduate student of Lawrence University and a graduate student of UW Madison’s Center of Limnology,  spoke of his research at the center....

Paul Skawinski

Today we debut a new series of natural history commentaries, featuring scientists from two Northwoods field stations: UW-Madison’s Trout Lake and Kemp Research Stations.

Today researcher Susan Knight asks why some aquatic plants stay green all winter. 

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.”

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.”

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.

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..." 

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.  


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.

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. 

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.

How to Mix a Lake

Jul 25, 2013
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.  

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?

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Many people come to the Northwoods to get away from the rest of the world.  

But at the University of Wisconsin Limnology Research Station at Trout Lake, scientists are trying to do just the opposite.  

Since 2004 Director Tim Kratz has been one of the pioneers putting together a network of limnologists, or scientists studying lakes, around the world.  It’s called GLEON, the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski sat down with Kratz to talk about how GLEON is part of a changing way of doing science.