Science and Beer: Exploring the Impacts of Climate Change on Fisheries

In the Northwoods, outdoor recreation is a major economic driver, and fishing plays a crucial role in this sector. The region’s lakes and rivers are home to a diverse range of fish species. However, recent climate changes could impact fisheries in the area. Over the years, temperatures in Wisconsin have increased by about 2 to 3 degrees since 1950, and are projected to warm an additional 2 to 8 degrees in the next 25 years.

Research fish biologist Holly Embke with the USGS Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center has been studying how these changes may affect fish populations. She notes that we are already seeing shifts in fish populations due to warming waters. Species like bluegill and bass are thriving, while cold water species like walleye are struggling. A recent study highlighted that shifts in ice-off dates may pose a threat to walleye spawning.

Despite these challenges, Embke emphasizes that it’s not all negative news. She emphasizes the importance of understanding where fish populations are struggling and thriving and implementing habitat restoration strategies to support these populations. Actions such as habitat restoration and focusing on different fish species like yellow perch or sunfish may help mitigate the impacts of climate change on fisheries.

Embke will be discussing these challenges and the significance of inland fisheries at the upcoming Science on Tap event in Minocqua on April 4. The event will be held at Rocky Reef Brewing Company in Woodruff and will also be available for streaming online. Embke hopes that attendees will gain a better understanding of the potential changes affecting fish communities and realize that while changes are inevitable, there are opportunities to adapt and support these ecosystems in a changing climate.

By Aiden Johnson

As a content writer at, I have a passion for crafting engaging and informative articles that captivate readers. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, I strive to deliver content that not only informs but also entertains. My goal is to create compelling narratives that resonate with our audience and keep them coming back for more. Whether I'm delving into the latest news topics or exploring in-depth features, I am dedicated to producing high-quality content that informs, inspires, and sparks curiosity.

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