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. "Shallow" lakes are defined as mixing continuously throughout the summer. "Cold Water" lakes are defined as lakes that 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 also funded by the ETF. Trout is one of three super sentinel lakes where lake and watershed models are being built by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to forecast various outcomes of climate change on coldwater habitat. Trout Lake was selected to represent a deep oligotrophic lake in the Northern Lake and Forest (NLF) ecoregion. Trout Lake is located in Cook County approximately 10 miles northeast of Grand Marais, MN, within Superior National Forest. Trout Lake is located in a bedrock basin, and is surrounded by forested land. Land use within the Trout Lake watershed is dominated by forest and open water. There has been little change in land use since 1969, primarily because most of the watershed is within the public lands of Superior National Forest.
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (St. Paul, Minnesota)
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency