In the Northwoods, outdoor recreation is a major economic driver, with fishing playing a crucial role in this sector. The region’s lakes and rivers are home to a diverse array of fish species. However, rising temperatures in Wisconsin have led to changes in the region’s climate, with temperatures projected to rise by an additional 2 to 8 degrees over the next 25 years. These changes are expected to have a significant impact on fisheries in the area.

Holly Embke, a fish research biologist at the USGS Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, has been closely monitoring these changes. She notes that we are already seeing shifts in fish populations due to warming waters. Species such as bluegill and bass are thriving, while cold water species such as walleye are struggling. In fact, shifting ice-off dates could pose a significant threat to walleye spawning.

Despite these challenges, Embke emphasizes that there is hope for fisheries in the Northwoods. She stresses the importance of understanding where fish populations struggle and thrive 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 can help mitigate the impact of climate change on fisheries.

Embke will be discussing these challenges and sharing her insights into the importance of inland fisheries at an upcoming Science on Tap event in Minocqua on April 4th. The event will be held at Rocky Reef Brewing Company in Woodruff and will also be available to stream online. Embke hopes that participants will gain a better understanding of the potential changes affecting fish communities and realize that while change is inevitable, there are opportunities to adapt and support these ecosystems in a changing climate.

In conclusion, fishing remains an essential part of outdoor recreation in the Northwoods. However, changes in climate patterns are having an impact on local fish populations. As researchers continue to monitor these changes, it’s crucial for stakeholders like anglers and conservationists to work together to implement strategies that can help mitigate their effects while still allowing for sustainable fishing practices.

Fishing continues to play a vital role in outdoor recreation across many regions worldwide.

The lakes and rivers within Wisconsin’s Northwoods provide habitat for numerous fish species.

Over time, temperatures have increased by about 2-3 degrees since 1950.

Fish populations have shown significant shifts due to warming waters.

As temperatures continue to rise over the next 25 years by another 2-8 degrees,

the impacts of climate change on fisheries will only become more evident.

Researcher Holly Embke from USGS Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center has been tracking

By Samantha Johnson

As a dedicated content writer at, I immerse myself in the art of storytelling through words. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for crafting engaging narratives, I strive to captivate our audience with each piece I create. Whether I'm covering breaking news, delving into feature articles, or exploring thought-provoking editorials, my goal remains constant: to inform, entertain, and inspire through the power of writing. Join me on this journalistic journey as we navigate through the ever-evolving media landscape together.

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