Projected Climate On A Whitefish Species In Deep Wisconsin Lakes

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Projected Climate Change Effects on Cisco, a Keystone Whitefish Species in Deep Wisconsin Lakes John Lyons WDNR Fish and Aquatic Research, Madison

Why Do Cisco Matter? Adult Gamefish (e.g., musky, walleye) Climate Change Indicator Fishery (spawning, winter) Zooplankton Juvenile Gamefish (e.g., musky, walleye) Water Clarity (algae conditions)

Where Do Cisco Live in Wisconsin? Deep ( 50 ft) Lakes! Examples: Lake Michigan Lake Geneva Okauchee Lake Lake Mendota Big Green Lake Chain of Lakes Long Lake (Chippewa Co.) Long Lake (Washburn Co.) Lake Owen Turtle‐Flambeau Flowage Lake Tomahawk Trout Lake Lake Superior Found in 175 Lakes

Cold Water Prefer: 40‐65 o F Stressful: 65‐75 o F Lethal: 75 o F Open Water Prefer: Mid‐Water Rarely: Near Bottom Avoid: Shallow Shores

Where Do Cisco Live in Lakes? Fall, Winter, and Spring Oxygen High – Ideal Cold – Ideal

Where Do Cisco Live in Lakes? Early Summer Oxygen High – Ideal Epilimnion Too Warm Oxygen High – Ideal Thermocline Cool ‐ OK Oxygen Med – OK Hypolimnion Cold ‐ Ideal

Where Do Cisco Live in Lakes? Late Summer Oxygen High – Ideal Epilimnion Too Warm Oxygen Med – OK Thermocline Cool ‐ OK Not Enough Oxygen Hypolimnion Cold ‐ Ideal

Where Do Cisco Live in Lakes? Late Summer – Hot Year Oxygen High – Ideal Epilimnion Too Warm Not Enough Oxygen Thermocline Cool ‐ OK Not Enough Oxygen Hypolimnion Cold ‐ Ideal SUMMER FISH KILL!

In What Types of Lakes Are Cisco Most Vulnerable? Relatively Small and Shallow Less Total Habitat; Oxygen on the Bottom Gone More Quickly Longer Growing Season (i.e., further south, milder climate) More Time to Use Up Oxygen on the Bottom More Productive (i.e., more nutrients available) More Decomposition; Oxygen on the Bottom Gone More Quickly

Future Climate Change – Some Relevant Predictions: Winters will be warmer and shorter, Spring will come earlier and Fall later, Summer will be longer and hotter . Longer Growing Season More Time to Use Up Oxygen on the Bottom Precipitation events will be more extreme, Runoff will be greater, More nutrients will reach lakes . More Productive Oxygen on the Bottom Gone More Quickly

Predicted Effects Climate Change on Cisco Occurrence Number of Lakes with Cisco by Mid Century 200 180 160 140 120 100 80 175 128 60 88 40 53 20 0 Originally Low Warming Medium Warming High Warming

Can We Prevent Disappearances? Maybe . Cisco Lake Vulnerability: Relatively Small and Shallow Longer Growing Season ? More Productive ?

Climate Change Adaptation: Reduce Nutrient Inputs Improve Watershed Land Use Protect Natural Shorelines

Climate Change Adaptation: Triage – Protect the Resilient, Don’t Fight the Inevitable, Focus on the Restorable Number of Lakes with Cisco by Mid Century 200 180 160 Restore! 140 120 Restore? 100 Don’t Fight 80 60 40 Protect 20 0 Originally Low Warming Medium Warming High Warming

Summary and Conclusions 1) Cisco a keystone species, found in 175 deep Wisconsin lakes 2) Cisco require cold water with oxygen; vulnerable to summerkills 3) Cisco threatened by climate warming; 30‐70% of lakes at risk 4) Some cisco lakes might be conserved if nutrient inputs reduced

Questions?

Lake Michigan Lake Geneva OkaucheeLake Lake Mendota Big Green Lake Chain of Lakes Long Lake (Chippewa Co.) Long Lake (Washburn Co.) Lake Owen Turtle ‐Flambeau Flowage Lake Tomahawk Trout Lake Lake Superior Found in 175 Lakes

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