waskington state lake images
December, 2016

Lake folks converge on Bellingham for WALPA’s 29th annual conference

WALPA headed north to Bellingham in October to host its 29th annual conference at the Four Points Sheraton. This year’s theme was “Lakes – Reflections of Change.” More than 90 members — lake managers, professionals, students and lakeside residents — attended to share their lake management knowledge and network with others from around the state.

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Water level fluctuations in lakes of Western Washington

Freshwater resources are facing increasing pressure from many sources. We withdraw water for human consumption and agriculture. Increasing temperatures due to climate change lead to more evaporation. These intense pressures can be illustrated by dramatic examples like the Aral Sea in Central Asia, pictured below. Once the fourth-largest lake in the world, it has been reduced to a fraction of its former size since its two main tributaries were diverted for irrigation projects in the 1960’s.

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Sexual eruption; sex-specific responses of rainbow trout to habitat shaped by volcanic disturbance

Natural disturbances provide perspective on the recovery of freshwater ecosystems and the range of conditions under which salmonids can persist. The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington, USA, an intense broad-scale natural disturbance, provides a unique opportunity to observe the influence of disturbance on a recently established rainbow trout population in the Spirit Lake basin. Rainbow trout require stream habitat to spawn and rear, but express broad variation in life-history strategies that include migratory and non-migratory (resident) individuals even within the same population. Moreover, characteristics of migratory behavior, such as timing, can also vary by age and sex.

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The language of aquatic macroinvertebrates

Every body of water has a story to tell, and multiple languages with which to tell it. The story is told in the benthic sediments, the suspended metals and chemicals, the turbidity, and in living organisms like fish, aquatic vegetation, and macroinvertebrates. My current research, funded in part by the 2016 WALPA Undergraduate Scholarship, focuses on telling the story of the Snake River drainage from the perspective of aquatic macroinvertebrates. Using abundance data and tolerance values, I will be able to take a snapshot of its ecological health and possible future trajectory.

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IN THIS ISSUE

December 2016 HOME

Lake folks converge on Bellingham for WALPA’s 29th annual conference

Water level fluctuations in lakes of Western Washington

Sexual eruption; sex-specific responses of rainbow trout to habitat shaped by volcanic disturbance

The Language of Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

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