Anticipating those concerns, Sandy Gillum, a retired ecologist who has worked extensively with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and vice president of the Wisconsin Association of Lakes, organized a seminar at Northland Pines High School last Saturday with the intention of answering questions about the effects of low lake levels on lake ecosystems.
... Gillum fundamentally believes that the exposed lake beds and deeper light penetration caused by low lake levels can create new ecological zones in the lake’s ecosystem that can prove fertile ground for invasive species. “Invasive species are opportunists. Plow up a field and what grows first? Dandelions,” she said. The message Gillum took from her own seminar was that the current conditions call for greater vigilance where aquatic invasive species are concerned.
…Jim Asplund, the DNR’s lakes and wetlands statewide limnologist, has been tracking northern Wisconsin’s low lake levels. Asplund attended the seminar at Northland Pines at Gillum’s invitation to share his thoughts on low lake levels. Asplund said lake levels in this part of the state have fluctuated roughly on a 30-year drought cycle, but recent studies of lake levels and groundwater well levels have begun to point to more serious possibilities. “Some lakes are at historical low levels and that might be more indicative of climate change,” Asplund said….