Muckraking Mendota: A Brief History of Fish

The fish crew pulls in a gillnet after an overnight set. Photo: E. Hilts
Last week, like every week this summer, I was out on the water looking for stories about Madison’s lakes. But, this time, I had company. One of the cooler summer jobs at the Center for Limnology, is to be a member of “fish crew,” the team of students that spend the summer netting, IDing and taking a general yearly census of the fish in Madison lakes. For a few days, I got to be an honorary member.
The return of fish crew is the beginning of the end of summer. Every year, four student technicians spend five weeks at Trout Lake Station, and then the rest of the summer sampling the Madison Lakes, maintaining a data set on fish populations and diversity that extends back to 1981. With the school year drawing closer, I was glad the most exciting fieldwork that goes on at the Center for Limnology was still ahead. What could be more exhilarating than being out on the lake seeing fish up close? Keep reading –>