Castle Lake Projects

Modelling the Influence of Climate and Fish Stocking on Lake Production

Project summary:

Global climate change has become a growing concern for plant, animal, and human living conditions. Lakes act as sentinels, providing signals that reflect the influence of climate change in their broader catchments. Long-term datasets have been used to demonstrate the effects of climate on lake habitats and ecosystems. However, little empirical research exists on aquatic productivity in response to long-term global warming. Research utilizing long-term measurements from Castle Lake suggest that climate forcing influences lake production at both regional and local scales.

In 2007 CLEREP began development of a structural equation model elucidating the relationship between climate drivers and fish stocking on lake productivity. Structural equation modeling is a statistical technique based on regression that allows users ask this type of complex question and deal explicitly with issues of multicollinearity (correlations among the predictor variables in a regression model). We are now refining this model and using it, in combination with existing literature that predicts various climate scenarios in the Northern California region, to predict the influence of climate on lake productivity, in the context of existing and potential fish stocking regimes.