Boat Frozen to Trailer? Just Another Day in the Field for North Temperate Lakes LTER!

On the last day of November, Carol Warden and Paul Schramm, research specialists for the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research project (NTL-LTER), headed out to the deepest part of Trout Lake to deploy a string of temperature sensors that will record real-time measurements of water temperatures all winter long – even under the ice once the lake freezes over.

NTL-LTER has been consistently recording data on eleven Wisconsin lakes – seven up in Vilas County (or the Northwoods) and foru down in Dane – since the 1980’s. LTER researchers record everything from ice-on and ice-off dates, to fish population estimates, to water quality and, yes, temperature. As you can see in the video below, Carol and Paul had to content with a mix of wintry weather. And, first, they had to deal with the fact that the boat had frozen to its trailer!