Science and Beer: Exploring the Impacts of Climate Change on Fisheries

Fishing is a vital economic driver in the Northwoods, with lakes and rivers teeming with a diverse range of fish species. However, the region’s fisheries may face significant changes due to climate change. Over the past few decades, temperatures in Wisconsin have risen by about 2 to 3 degrees since 1950, and they are projected to warm an additional 2 to 8 degrees in the next 25 years.

Research fish biologist Holly Embke from the USGS Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center has been studying how these temperature increases impact fish populations in the area. She notes that warming waters are causing shifts in fish communities, with some species thriving while others are struggling. For example, cold water species like walleye are facing challenges as ice-off dates become earlier due to warmer temperatures.

Despite these challenges, Embke remains optimistic about the future of inland fisheries. She emphasizes the importance of understanding where fish populations are struggling and implementing habitat restoration strategies to support them. Focusing on different fish species like yellow perch or sunfish may help mitigate the impacts of climate change on fisheries.

Embke will be sharing her insights at an upcoming Science on Tap event in Minocqua on April 4th at Rocky Reef Brewing Company in Woodruff. The event will also be available for streaming online. She hopes that attendees will gain a better understanding of how climate change is affecting fish communities and realize that there are opportunities to adapt and support these ecosystems in a changing climate.

In conclusion, outdoor recreation is a significant economic driver in the Northwoods, and fishing plays a crucial role in this sector. While climate change poses challenges for local fisheries, researchers like Holly Embke remain hopeful that there are opportunities for adaptation and support through habitat restoration strategies and focusing on different fish species.

By Sophia Gonzalez

As a content writer at, I am dedicated to crafting engaging stories that captivate our readers. With a knack for turning complex topics into accessible and compelling narratives, I weave words together to inform and inspire. My passion lies in delivering accurate and thought-provoking content that keeps our audience informed and entertained. From breaking news stories to in-depth features, I strive to bring a fresh perspective to every piece I create. Join me on this journey of exploration and discovery through the power of words at

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