The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is working in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) on the Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment (SLICE) Sentinel Lakes Program. The focus of this interdisciplinary effort is to improve understanding of how major drivers of change such as development, agriculture, climate change, and invasive species can affect lake habitats and fish populations, and to develop a long-term strategy to collect the necessary information to detect undesirable changes in Minnesota Lakes (Valley 2009). To increase our ability to predict the consequences of land cover and climate change on lake habitats, SLICE utilizes intensive lake monitoring strategies on a wide range of representative Minnesota lakes. This includes analyzing relevant land cover and land use, identifying climate stressors, and monitoring the effects on the lake's habitat and biological communities. The Sentinel Lakes Program has selected 24 lakes for long-term intensive lake monitoring (Figure 1). The "Deep" lakes typically stratify during the summer months only. "Shallow" lakes are defined as mixing continuously throughout the summer. "Cold Water" lakes are defined as lakes that either harbor cisco, lake whitefish, or lake trout and are the focus of research funded by the Environmental Trust Fund (ETF). "Super sentinel" lakes also harbor cold-water fish populations and research on these lakes is funded by the ETF. Madison is an important local resource, and is one of the largest and deepest lakes in Blue Earth County. It provides varied recreational opportunities including fishing, swimming, boating, sailing and skiing. It is a highly developed lake and, as such, makes a substantial contribution to the local economy. Landuse records suggest a slight decline in the percent of land in agricultural uses and an increase in developed landuse in recent years.
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (St. Paul, Minnesota)
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency