Founder of AIS research center to speak
The Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation and the Association of Cass County Lakes will present an event called "Establishing Freshwater Protected Areas in North Central Minnesota."...
The Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation and the Association of Cass County Lakes will present an event called "Establishing Freshwater Protected Areas in North Central Minnesota."
The event is 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. March 3 at The Hub, 213 First St. S., Hackensack.
The discussion will feature Peter Sorensen, professor of fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology at the University of Minnesota and the founder of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.
Sorensen's interests are focused on understanding the mechanisms that drive the behavior of fish with an emphasis on using this information to preserve native species and ecosystems while controlling aquatic invasive species. He is known for his work on sea lamprey control, pheromones in fish (chemical signals that pass between of the same species) and work on invasive carp biology and control.
Sorensen will present on the concept of aquatic protection areas. He will review the many threats to watersheds and how the concept of protecting a few key areas is now the primary hope for many fish and ecosystems, and why a similar approach must now be considered for Minnesota lakes, a release stated.
He will briefly review the continuous and complex balancing act going in lakes that includes temperature, nutrients, habitat, fishing and native and exotic species. One excellent way to maintain this balance because it addresses all factors, Sorensen argues, is to protect small areas within watersheds that include the shorelines and waters.
Areas might be small (5 percent of a watershed might suffice if selected carefully) and local involvement and coordination would be key to success, the release stated. In Wisconsin, a study predicts a 90 percent decrease in walleye lakes in the next 40-50 years and the same trend might happen in Minnesota unless something is done.
Sorensen suggests it is now time to try this concept in freshwater in Minnesota, where many lakes are under high biological stress. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources defines scientific and natural areas to protect important land, but there is no equivalent approaches to protect water.