Water temperature is a very important characteristic of aquatic habitats, particularly those
supporting coldwater fish species such as trout [Eaton et al. 1995]. Stream temperature not only
controls the survival of juvenile and adult coldwater fish, but also affects their reproduction and
food sources such as macroinvertebrates [Durance and Ormerod 2007]. Hydrogeologic and
climate settings constrain the existence of coldwater streams. In Minnesota, for example, trout
streams are created by (1) karst springs in the southeast region of the state, near Rochester, 2) by
cold wetlands in the northeast region of the state, near Duluth, and 3) by shallow groundwater
aquifers in other regions of the state. The hydrological and climatological processes that maintain
coldwater stream habitat vary between these regions, but involve a combination of cold water
sources from groundwater or wetlands, riparian shading, and/or temperate climate. In other
regions of the USA and the world, alpine settings with coldwater sources from snow or ice and
cold mountain climate provide another important category of trout streams [Brown and Hannah
2007; Clark et al. 2001; Hari et al. 2006].
The Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources
Stefan, Heinz G.; Herb, William R..
Projecting the Impact of Climate Change on Coldwater Stream Temperatures in Minnesota Using Equilibrium Tmperature models.
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.
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