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Lake Conservation Webinar Series: Development of dissolved oxygen, temperature, and nutrient thresholds to protect cold water fish species in Minnesota lakes
Minnesota’s current water quality standards framework for lakes provide protections for lakes that support or are managed for trout, but these standards do not specifically protect other cold water fish species such as Cisco and Lake Whitefish. Many cold water fish species populations are threatened, because these species require oxygenated, cool water which is negatively impacted by a warming climate and eutrophication. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are collaborating to inventory lakes that support Cisco, Lake Whitefish, and Lake Trout, and to develop water quality standards that specifically protect these species. This effort includes the development of protective thresholds, which combine dissolved oxygen and temperature requirements (i.e., oxythermal habitat) for these fish species. In addition, thresholds for total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a have been determined that link to conditions needed to maintain protective levels of dissolved oxygen. These analyses and previous research have indicated that each species has different requirements, which necessitates species-specific standards. Designating Minnesota’s lakes that support cold water fish and documenting which cold water fish species occur in these lakes will allow the application of species-specific standards. The resulting framework will provide standards, which will be used to protect these threatened fish species and to protect or restore these important resources.

Apr 20, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Derek Bahr
Lake IBI Research Scientist @Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
I am a Research Scientist with the Minnesota DNR. My work focuses on fisheries habitat in lakes, including ongoing implementation and evaluation of fish-based index of biological integrity sampling in lakes, evaluation of relationships between fish and shoreline habitat, and coordination and development of water quality standards to protect cold water species. Previous work includes evaluating recapture rates of Muskellunge and using vertical gillnet and hydroacoustic sampling gears to evaluate Cisco populations. A Wisconsin native, I earned a B.S. in Fisheries from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a M.S. at the University of Georgia, where I did research on estimating population parameters of endangered Atlantic and Shortnose sturgeons in Georgia rivers. I have always had a strong interest in the connection between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, likely stemming from my upbringing on a dairy farm and the countless hours I spent fishing on local lakes.
Dr. Will Bouchard
Research Scientist @Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Will Bouchard received his M.A. (2002) in Entomology from the University of Kansas and his Ph.D. (2007) in Entomology from the University of Minnesota. He was an adjunct professor at Hamline University and a post-doctoral researcher at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University before becoming a research scientist at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in 2008. His work at the MPCA includes coordinating the implementation of the tiered aquatic life uses (TALU) framework, review of beneficial use designations, and the development of water quality standards to protect aquatic biota.