From the Hutchinson Leader
By Matt McMillan
Minnesota's waters draw millions of anglers and water recreation users each year. Minnesota has over 150 fish species, more than 10,000 lakes and thousands of miles of rivers. While it is difficult to predict how much the climate of Minnesota will change in the future, there is general agreement amongst scientists that a warming trend is occurring and will continue.
Warmer temperatures lead to more evaporation, droughts, and more frequent heavy rainfalls. These in turn result in lower lake levels, warmer waters, and reduced water quality.
Native aquatic plant and animal species will differ widely in how they respond to changing water temperatures and hydrology. Some will adapt, some will move further north, and some will decline.
The rising water temperatures could also change the kinds of fish we find in our lakes: there will likely be less cold-water species, like trout, and more warm-water species, such as bass.
Many native species may have trouble adapting to changing habitats. But, a changing climate is likely to benefit invasive species with generalized habitat and feeding requirements. The spread of non-native nuisance species is likely to further increase the impacts of climate change on Minnesota's aquatic ecosystems.
For more information on lake temperatures and aquatic life, click here.