Lake Monitoring Helps Assess Fish Stocks

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THUNDER BAY – Boaters in Northwestern Ontario may notice red, rectangular devices in local lakes this  spring. Recording lake temperatures every hour, these devices are used to conduct important studies on how temperature fluctuations affect fish such as walleye and brook or lake trout.

Changes in the air and water temperature can significantly impact fish. Differences in temperature from year to year can affect fish feeding behaviour, habitat, productivity and even the survival of a given species.

Environment Canada weather station data from the past 40 years is also used to help track surface water and air temperature trends for Northwest region lakes. By measuring temperatures over time, biologists can assess the effect of climate change on fish.

QUICK FACTS

???? The monitoring devices are set out in spring as soon as the lake ice melts and collected just prior to the fall freeze-up. The Ministry of Natural Resources advises boaters not to touch these devices.

???? The ministry monitors fish populations and fishing activities on lakes across the province and works with the Ministry of the Environment to monitor water quality.

???? About 1.7 million anglers fish in Ontario each year, spending more than $2.5 billon dollars annually on fisheries-related products and services.