Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


Abstract Water temperature and dissolved oxygen (DO) profiles were measured once every month from mid July to mid February in a relatively deep sand-pit lake in southeast Nebraska. These profiles showed depleted DO concentrations below the thermocline during summer stratification indicating areas fish will likely avoid in summer months. Colder temperatures in fall caused complete mixing of the water column allowing fish to inhabit all depths of the lake. An inverse temperature stratification occurred directly below the ice during winter months as ice cover cooled the surface water to below 4 degrees Celsius. Ice cover also blocked air – water oxygen transfer and reduced light for photosynthesizing algae. Associated with winter ice cover, DO concentrations in the hypolimnion decreased significantly, once again reducing available fish habitat. It is likely anglers will have a higher success rate catching fishing in water above 6 meters (m) (~20 feet) in a eutrophic sandpit lake during hot summer months and below ice cover in winter. Fish can utilize all depths of the lake during fall turnover and could theoretically be caught by anglers anywhere in the lake.