Did you know there are 117 million lakes on Earth? July is Lakes Appreciation Month. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness about threats towards our lakes, and how we can help conserve them. People can use this month to organize teams to clean up our lakes and to raise awareness for Lakes Appreciation Month.
Online Resources about Lakes
Interactive website from the Environmental Protection Agency
Free "how-to-fish" classes for all ages.
Real-time lake water quality data from a research buoy on Lake Lillinonah. The buoy is part of a partnership between Jen Klug at Fairfield University and Friends of the Lake, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the water quality of Lake Lillinonah.
Scientific Organizations Working on Lakes
"The Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network conducts innovative science by sharing and interpreting high-resolution sensor data to understand, predict and communicate the role and response of lakes in a changing global environment." Mission Statement
- To promote the exchange of information on aspects of managing lakes and their watersheds.
- To promote public awareness of lake ecosystems.
- To encourage public support for promoting management of lakes and their watersheds.
- To provide guidance to agencies involved in management activities for lakes and their watersheds.
- To boost the professional status of those engaged in managing lakes and their watersheds.
- To identify needs and encourage research on lake ecology and watershed management.
Journals that Focus on Aquatic Systems
Limnology and Oceanography (published by ASLO)
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Journal of Great Lakes Research
Lake and Reservoir Management (published by NALMS)
"This concise yet comprehensive introduction to the biology of standing waters (lakes and ponds) combines traditional limnology with current ecological and evolutionary theory. It integrates the effects of abiotic constraints and biotic interactions at both the population and community level, allowing the reader to understand how the distribution and success of different organisms in this freshwater habitat can be explained and predicted. The book is focused on temperate lakes and ponds, drawing on examples from polar and tropical systems to provide a broader context." Publisher Description
"In this remarkable and remarkably accessible synthesis of ecology, landscape design, and social sciences, the authors present an approach to lakeshore living that addresses the need to create rich, sustainable places and communities on the water, where both the loon and the family find a place, and where the cabin can be handed down with integrity to the grandchildren. Fragile shorelands require care, and that caring comes from knowledge, experience, and an environmental ethic. Radomski and Van Assche argue that an environmentally sensitive lakeshore place and community design is the way forward. While many factors affect the quality of lakes and lakeshore living, property owners and local communities do not have to wait until policies are perfect: the design approach advocated here can be applied in any place people living lakeside can get together and collaborate. The approach presented here is proactive and context sensitive: new designs have to fit the existing ecological, cultural, and policy landscapes. Development is always re-development in this sense. The authors introduce the reader step-by-step to this approach and carefully discuss leverage points that can be helpful in implementation and system change." Publisher Description
"For centuries, eyewitnesses around the world?from America to Africa, Argentina to Scotland?have reported sightings of dark, mysterious creatures in area lakes that surface briefly, only to quickly disappear. While the most famous lake monsters of Loch Ness and Lake Champlain have gained international notoriety, hundreds of lakes around the world are said to shelter these shadowy creatures. Lake Monster Mysteries is the first book to examine these widespread mysteries from a scientific perspective. By using exhaustive research and results from firsthand investigations to help separate truth from myth, the authors foster our understanding of what really lurks in the cold, murky depths. Benjamin Radford and Joe Nickell are considered to be among the top lake monster authorities in the world. Here they share unique insights into many of the world's best-known lake monsters. They interview witnesses and local experts and discuss the different types of lake monster sightings, delve into possible explanations for those sightings, and examine hoaxes, evidence claims, and legends surrounding the monsters. The authors have also conducted groundbreaking fieldwork and experiments at the lakes and have examined recent photographic and sonar evidence. Incorporating newly-revealed information and up-to-date developments in the cases they present, professional monster hunters Radford and Nickell plunge into both the cultural histories of these creatures and the scientific inquiries that may hold the key to these mysteries." Publisher Description
"In Coffins of the Brave: Lake Shipwrecks of the War of 1812, archaeologist Kevin J. Crisman and his fellow contributors examine sixteen different examples of 1812-era naval and commercial shipbuilding. They range from four small prewar vessels to four 16- or 20-gun brigs, three warships of much greater size, a steamboat hull converted into an armed schooner, two gunboats, and two postwar schooners. Despite their differing degrees of preservation and archaeological study, each vessel reveals something about how its creators sought the best balance of strength, durability, capacity, stability, speed, weatherliness, and seaworthiness for the anticipated naval struggle on the lakes along the US-Canadian border.
The underwater archaeology reported here has guided a new approach to understanding the events of 1812–15, one that blends the evidence in contemporary documents and images with a wealth of details derived from objects lost, discarded, and otherwise left behind.
This heavily illustrated volume balances scholarly findings with lively writing, interjecting the adventure of working on shipwrecks and archaeological finds into the investigation and interpretation of a war that continues to attract interest two centuries after it was fought." Publisher Description
"Lake Superior, the largest lake in the world, has had a remarkable history, including resource extraction and industrial exploitation that caused nearly irreversible degradation. But in the past fifty years it has experienced a remarkable recovery and rebirth. In this important book, leading environmental historian Nancy Langston offers a rich portrait of the lake’s environmental and social history, asking what lessons we should take from the conservation recovery as this extraordinary lake faces new environmental threats.
In her insightful exploration, Langston reveals hope in ecosystem resilience and the power of community advocacy, noting ways Lake Superior has rebounded from the effects of deforestation and toxic waste wrought by mining and paper manufacturing. Yet, despite the lake’s resilience, threats persist. Langston cautions readers regarding new mining interests and persistent toxic pollutants that are mobilizing with climate change." Publisher Description
"We have disrupted the natural water cycle for centuries in an effort to control water for our own prosperity. Yet every year, recovery from droughts and floods costs billions of dollars, and we spend billions more on dams, diversions, levees, and other feats of engineering. These massive projects not only are risky financially and environmentally, they often threaten social and political stability. What if the answer was not further control of the water cycle, but repair and replenishment?
Sandra Postel takes readers around the world to explore water projects that work with, rather than against, nature’s rhythms. In New Mexico, forest rehabilitation is safeguarding drinking water; along the Mississippi River, farmers are planting cover crops to reduce polluted runoff; and in China, “sponge cities” are capturing rainwater to curb urban flooding.
Efforts like these will be essential as climate change disrupts both weather patterns and the models on which we base our infrastructure. We will be forced to adapt. The question is whether we will continue to fight the water cycle or recognize our place in it and take advantage of the inherent services nature offers. Water, Postel writes, is a gift, the source of life itself. How will we use this greatest of gifts?" Publisher Description
"The first book of its kind to explore this magnificent creature, this collected volume captures many aspects of the remarkable Great Lakes sturgeon, from the mythical to the critically real. Lake sturgeon are sacred to some, impressive to many, and endangered in the Great Lakes. A fish whose ancestry reaches back millions of years and that can live over a century and grow to six feet or more, the Great Lakes lake sturgeon was once considered useless, then overfished nearly to extinction. Though the fish is slowly making a comeback thanks to the awareness-raising efforts of Native Americans, biologists, and sturgeon supporters, it remains to be seen if conservation and stewardship will continue to the degree this remarkable animal deserves. Blending history, biology, folklore, environmental science, and policy, this accessible book seeks to reach a broad audience and tell the story of the Great Lakes lake sturgeon in a manner as diverse as its subject." Publisher Description
"Canal systems, ballast water from oceangoing ships, and seemingly little things such as fish stocking, bait bucket emptying, and trailering recreational boats all provide ways for non-native invasive species to infest North America's aquatic environments. Using the Great Lakes - unwilling home to the sea lamprey, zebra mussel, round goby, and Eurasian ruffe - as a case study, this program takes a close look at the threats posed by aquatic nuisance species and how scientists, policymakers, and the public are working to prevent the further spread of these devastating invaders. San Francisco Bay, with its Chinese mitten crab problem, is also touched upon." Description
Macuch, C. and Klug, J. L. (2020). High Frequency Data for Temperature and Oxygen Reveal the Potential for Stressful Conditions for Fish in a Southern New England Impoundment. NorthEastern Naturalist, 27(3), 520-533.
"Fishes have specific dissolved oxygen and water temperature requirements needed to promote optimal growth. Ongoing anthropogenic climate change will lead to increased water temperature and likely changes in dissolved oxygen concentrations that will affect fish populations in a variety of ways. This study uses high-frequency, automated sensor data from 2011–2015 to examine dissolved oxygen and water temperature in Lake Lillinonah, a hydroelectric impoundment in western Connecticut, to identify potentially stressful conditions for Esox lucius (Northern Pike [NP]) and Micropterus salmoides (Largemouth Bass [LMB]). We found that summer water temperature was nearly always in an optimal range for LMB growth, but was frequently in the stressful range for NP growth. In addition, in some years, Lake Lillinonah experienced consistent hypoxia, reducing the thermal refuge available for NP. Long-term data from Lake Lillinonah show an increase in mean July surface water temperature, and further temperature increases are expected as the climate continues to warm. This trend, coupled with a potential reduction in thermal refuge due to hypoxia, poses serious consequences for NP, given that current conditions frequently exceed documented optimal growth range for the species." Abstract from Article
"The concentration of dissolved oxygen in aquatic systems helps to regulate biodiversity, nutrient biogeochemistry, greenhouse gas emissions, and the quality of drinking water. The long-term declines in dissolved oxygen concentrations in coastal and ocean waters have been linked to climate warming and human activity, but little is known about the changes in dissolved oxygen concentrations in lakes. Although the solubility of dissolved oxygen decreases with increasing water temperatures, long-term lake trajectories are difficult to predict. Oxygen losses in warming lakes may be amplified by enhanced decomposition and stronger thermal stratification or oxygen may increase as a result of enhanced primary production. Here we analyze a combined total of 45,148 dissolved oxygen and temperature profiles and calculate trends for 393 temperate lakes that span 1941 to 2017. We find that a decline in dissolved oxygen is widespread in surface and deep-water habitats. The decline in surface waters is primarily associated with reduced solubility under warmer water temperatures, although dissolved oxygen in surface waters increased in a subset of highly productive warming lakes, probably owing to increasing production of phytoplankton. By contrast, the decline in deep waters is associated with stronger thermal stratification and loss of water clarity, but not with changes in gas solubility. Our results suggest that climate change and declining water clarity have altered the physical and chemical environment of lakes. Declines in dissolved oxygen in freshwater are 2.75 to 9.3 times greater than observed in the world’s oceans and could threaten essential lake ecosystem services." Abstract from Article