Brian Breidert of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources uses the data to better manage fish
When it was launched in September 2012, the Michigan City buoy joined a series of sensors monitored by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR) that are used to improve fishing in Lake Michigan and surrounding streams and rivers. IN DNR relies on the buoy for real-time data on water temperature, wind speed and direction, and wave height and frequency, important conditions that impact fishing success in the heavily trafficked waters near the Indiana dunes.
The information collected from the buoy, especially changing water temperatures, helps Brian and his colleagues more accurately predict the fish species in the nearshore waters of southern Lake Michigan at different times of the year. Seasonal changes in temperatures bring with them a turnover in aquatic life adapted to particular temperature ranges. Day-to-day variation in surface water temperatures as a result of changes in air temperature, increased pollution levels, or an upwelling—cooler water from the lake bottom pulled to the surface by wind and waves—also impact the species of fish living in an area at any given time. Real-time data on water temperature from the buoy is combined with other fishery research conducted by IN DNR to help anglers in Lake Michigan target specific fish species successfully.
The continuous data collected from the buoy is also used by IN DNR to monitor long-term changes in lake conditions and to more effectively identify times when intensive water sampling is needed to improve fishing and protect aquatic habitats.
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