Tag: climate change

Lake Superior has dramatically less ice this season 

Lake Superior Ice Concentrations 1973-2024

More insights on the impacts of this season’s limited ice on Lake Superior can be found in Jana Hollingsworth’s article from February 20, 2024, in the StarTribune. About 2% of the lake had ice compared to about 20% last year and 80% in 2022. Forty percent is the average ice concentration over the last 50 years.

Researchers are suggesting potential impacts to AIS, fish species, algae blooms, and more. All of the Great Lakes had limited ice this season and the effects will be studied for years.

Here’s the link to the article. You may have to have a StarTribune subscription to view the article.

Climate change is affecting walleye spawning

Profile of a walleye

A recent study, published in the journal Limnology and Oceanography Letters, examined 194 lakes in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to assess changes in walleye spawning. The takeaway is that climate change is causing lakes to thaw earlier and faster than walleye are adapting.  When the walleye spawn, there is less food resource available for the babies and their survival can be low.

Danielle Kaeding of Wisconsin Public Radio has an audio report and a longer on-line news story.

September Member Meeting Recap

The MN COLA Membership meeting on September 19th was exceptionally content rich with the best meeting attendance ever. We heard about the impact of climate change on Minnesota, a new Watercraft AIS Cleaning Stations and Tools project, a special award for MN COLA, and our focus for the 2024 legislative session.

Mark Seeley describes temp and moisture increases in MN

If you were not able to make the MN COLA September 2023 Meeting, here is a quick summary of the great information:

  • Dr. Mark Seeley, renowned climatologist/meteorologist from the University of Minnesota, gave us a eyes-wide-open presentation about climate change, with a focus on Minnesota. There is a high degree of climate variability, and in particular, Minnesota is experiencing higher temperature and rainfall erraticism. Mega rains are more frequent and higher dew points are preventing cooling. Lakes are warming—particularly shallow lakes, and there is less ice cover in the winter.
  • Cass County Association of Lakes and Cass County Soil and Water shared a fantastic Best Practice in Action—their Watercraft AIS Cleaning Stations and Tools. By leveraging DNR relationships, strong project management, and deep engagement from a large stable of volunteers, over 55 cleaning stations have been installed in Cass County.
  • Clap and cheer! MN COLA has been selected as a Partner of the Year by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center Research (MAISRC). We are delighted and honored to be recognized.
  • Legislative focus for 2024 – We had a robust conversation regarding the 2024 legislative focus; topics and strategy were fine-tuned, Clearly, the impacts of enhanced wakes are top of mind for MN COLA. Other subjects include AIS compliance, 2nd tier lake developments, AIS Prevention Funding, and sustaining funds for MAISRC.
  • The meeting concluded with our signature Round Robin session—a chance to chat and share what is on your mind. Hot topics included starry stonewort strategy, drainage issues, and regulations requiring an observer during towing.

A recording of Dr. Seeley’s portion of the meeting will be made available soon on the MN COLA website, under the Lake Resiliency section.

All are welcome to MN COLA Member meetings; the next meeting (Zoom) is Tuesday, December 5th—watch for more details!