Predicting Future Walleye Populations in Northern Wisconsin
The lakes of Northern Wisconsin have experienced significant declines in walleye populations in recent decades, leading Department of Natural Resources fisheries researchers to monitor the changes to lakes in the region to better understand the factors contributing to this decline. As part of this effort, a National CASC-funded project led by USGS Cooperative Research Unit scientist Craig Paukert is studying what fish populations might look like in the years 2050 and 2100 and why. Though researchers indicate that there is no magic bullet to solving the issue of declining walleye populations, the knowledge they are gathering about regional temperature conditions can help to inform decision-making in the future.
“How will fish communities and fish populations, like walleye, change under a changing climate? What’s the walleye population’s [future]? How are they going to be in 50 years or 100 years?” says Paukert. “Walleye fishing, at least in the northern part of Wisconsin, is probably not going to be as widespread as it is now.”
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