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Study: Less Lake Superior habitat for big trout

Siscowet lake trout
Siscowet lake trout

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — New research finds that Lake Superior's warming water probably already is affecting its most abundant big fish, the cold water-loving siscowet lake trout.

Increasing water temperatures over the last three decades have made conditions more favorable for chinook salmon, walleye and lean lake trout but less favorable for siscowet lake trout.

The study estimates that fatty siscowets have lost about 20 percent of their historic habitat because of the temperature changes that have already occurred.

The research used a mix of computer modeling and temperature measurements. It was conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, funded by Wisconsin Sea Grant.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the researchers picked lake trout, siscowet, salmon and walleye because they are among the most important species for sport angling and the region's tourism economy.