Coupled physical-chemical-biological models to predict losses of cold-water fish from inland lakes under climate warming

Project Leader: 
Research Partners: 
Jordan Read (USGS Wisconsin Water Science Center); Andrew Rypel (Wisconsin DNR); Tomas Hook (Purdue University); Wes Larson (USGS Co-Op Unit, UW-Stevens Point)
Project Fellows: 
Science Themes: 

Cold-water fish are disappearing from many midwestern lakes as they warm. This loss is due to a combination of de-oxygenation of the deep waters with heating of the surface waters. Together, these climate-driven changes squeeze the depth distribution of fish that require cold, well-oxygenated water, sometimes eliminating their habitat entirely. We will investigate where this combination of factors has likely caused extirpation of cold-water fishes, and where future warming is most likely to eliminate more populations. In addition to hydrodynamic modeling, we are partnering with genomics experts to assess selection on functional genes associated with surviving temperature or oxygen challenges.

The goals of this project are to 1) Manage cold-water lake fishes.  2) Manage fish species of special concern in the state.  3) Guide pre-emptive efforts to prioritize sites for management interventions.

  • Magee et al. Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference, 28-31 Jan 2018
  • Magee, M.R. McIntyre, P.B., Rypel, A., Read, J.S., Wu, C.H. April 2017. Management of cold-water fish habitat in Wisconsin inland lakes. 2017 Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention. Stevens Point, WI.
  • Magee, M.R. March 2017. Physics to Fish: lake specific climate change adaptation strategies. Civil Engineering Dept. seminar. Burlington, VT. Oral presentation
  • McIntyre, P.B. NE CASC Seminar "Climate Change and Loss of Tributary Connections in the World's Great Lakes" presented on April 20, 2016