Boat Motors and Water Quality

As Minnesotans, we love cruising along the lakes in our watercraft. Whether we are heading to our favorite fishing spot, waterskiing, or taking a sunset cruise, not much can top the feeling of taking in the fresh lake air.

Yet as the number of motorized boats and size of motors on Minnesota’s lakes continues to increase, questions arise about the potential effects these boats have on the lake environment. [Read more…]

Boats impact the littoral zone

Now that it’s June, the true boating season has begun. While you’re out enjoying the lake this summer, there are a few concepts that will help you become a more informed boater and lake steward.

Figure 1. Different lake zones in reference to available sunlight.We’ll start with a definition: the littoral zone. The littoral zone is the area of the lake that is less than 15 feet deep and where sunlight can reach the bottom. The littoral zone is usually where you will find the majority of aquatic plants since they need sunlight to grow. The littoral zone is also important habitat for fish, shorebirds and aquatic invertebrates because the plants give them refuge from predators and there is abundant food available. [Read more…]