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Water Management Associations
Food Chain Manipulation Improves Lakes
James Hodgson, recently retired after 41 years of teaching at St. Norbert College in De Pere Wisconsin is getting published in a prestigious scientific journal. A professor of biology and environmental science has been working with a team of researchers from around the county to prove that a bit of ecological future can be scientifically predicated.

The research, in part, has shown that changes in the food chain of an ecosystem like lakes can be manipulated and improved by making changes in key parts of the food chain. A lake choked with algae can be made clearer and healthier by introducing a predator such as largemouth bass. The bass feed on and reduce the minnow and small fish populations which feed on zooplankton, which increases the zooplankton population, which feed on and cut back on algae production.

The change in the chain causes what scientists call a “regime shift” in which an entire ecosystem shifts from one stable state to another. Hodgson and his researchers proved they can predict the regime shift and its benefits could enable us to predict when a lake is becoming unhealthy and shift it back to a healthy balance.

Large-Scale Implications


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Troubles Run Deep for Wisconsin Waters - The Wisconsin DNR cites that ¼ of more than 700 bodies of water which fail to meet water quality standards do so because of high levels of phosphorus. The Department of Health Services cites 26 cases of algae-related illnesses between 2009 and 2011 in Dunn County, which originated from Tainter Lake. Blue-green algae has been found in Lake Winnebago, which supplies drinking water to Appleton, Neenah, Menasha and Oshkosh.

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