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WATERLINE - March, 2011

Where are they now? A report from Hans Berge, 2005 WALPA Scholarship winner

Hans BergI started graduate school at the University of Washington’s School of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in the fall of 2002, working with Dr. Dave Beauchamp on a project to understand interactions in the food web of Lake Sammamish. This project was of interest to both my employer (King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks) and Dr. Beauchamp. I finished collecting data in Lake Sammamish in December of 2003, but I had additional coursework and laboratory analysis to complete before graduation. As many of you can understand, sometimes it takes a little longer to finish graduate school than you anticipated, and at a higher cost than expected. After my funding for tuition ran out in 2004, the Washington State Lake Protection Association (WALPA) was generous enough to provide me a scholarship for $250 in 2005. These funds were used to help with tuition expenses, and were much appreciated.

My research was focused on the effects of a temperature/oxygen squeeze on the vertical distribution of salmonids. As expected, I found that cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) and kokanee (O. nerka) do respond to thermal stratification by migrating into the metalimnion. As stratification relaxes, salmonids are found throughout the water column.

Since finishing my thesis research, I have continued to work on kokanee issues in Lake Sammamish. Currently, I work with a larger group to improve the productivity of native kokanee in Lake Sammamish and its tributaries. More information on this group and a copy of my thesis can be found here: www.kingcounty.gov/environment/animalsAndPlants/salmon-and-trout/kokanee.aspx.



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