MSI PI Investigates Status of Fish in Minnesota Lakes


MSI Principal Investigator Paul Venturelli (assistant professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology) has been in the Minnesota news recently for his research into how a changing climate and invasive species affect the fish populations in Minnesota lakes. Sport fishing is of huge economic importance to the state.

A story on MinnPost described how invasive species are affecting the populations of the iconic Minnesota walleye. The walleye season on Mille Lacs was closed early this summer due to the collapse of the population, with an accompanying impact on the tourist industry at the lake. There are a number of factors that caused this collapse, including the impact of invasive species such as the zebra mussel and spiny waterflea. Professor Venturelli was the chair of the blue-ribbon panel assembled by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to study Mille Lacs. The story can be found on the MinnPost website

In a related story on Minnesota Public Radio, Professor Venturelli talked with a reporter about how climate change can affect lakes’ food chains. The story can be found on the MPR website.

Professor Venturelli uses MSI to run simulations that model fish populations on an evolving delta. He is the developer of a new app, iFish Forever, that allows anglers to record their catches. This allows fisheries managers to maintain Minnesota’s lakes. See the previous story.