Minnesota state officials are requesting to use tax dollars to protect forested shorelines for lake trout.
While Minnesota lakes are seen as a lake trout refuge, the beautiful waters are mostly sterile and do not provide a welcoming home to other fish, like walleye and north pike, that either exist in low numbers or not at all.
The lake trout, though, enjoy the deep waters that stay rich in oxygen even in the heat of the summer.
The key to protecting the lake trout is to maintain the oxygen-rich water. All lake trout lakes in Minnesota are surrounded by forest. The surrounding trees, moss, plants, and soil all serve to filter out nutrients, preventing them from reaching the lake. Less nutrients mean less food for algae and the decomposition of algae consumes oxygen.
With the development of roofs and roads around the area rains flush straight to the lake with storm sewers, causing oxygen levels to possibly drop below five parts per million in July and August during algae blooms.
As a result, the lake trout might not make it.
Searching for oxygen, the lake trout might suffocate or die of heat stress in shallower waters. Minnosota’s DNR is proposing that tax dollars will be used to preserve the natural state and protect the lake trout.
The tax dollars would go toward conserving the forested shoreline that lake trout need to survive.
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