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Electroshocking on Oneida Lake

Electroshocking on Oneida Lake

CBFS Great Lakes staff Joe Connolly sampling aboard R/V Guardian

Sampling aboard the Lake Guardian

Trawling for Sturgeon

Brian, Tony and Tom trawling

Director Lars Rudstam diving for mussels in Oneida Lake

Director Lars Rudstam diving for mussels



gill net

gill net

Sampling aboard the Lake Guardian

Sampling aboard the Lake Guardian

Cornell Boat on Oneida Lake

Cornell Boat on Oneida Lake

Tern count on Little Island

Tern count on Little Island

Shackelton Point Boats

Boats docked


For more than 60 years, the Cornell Biological Field Station at Shackelton Point has addressed issues of changing ecosystems within the lakes of New York State and beyond. We continue to collaborate with groups to explore the effects of invasive species and climate change, and the effects on aquatic ecosystems. 


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presenter speaking in front of an audience

Clean Water Act EPA Training Conference- Martha’s Vineyard May 2022

May 10, 2022

As part of the Clean Water Act, the EPA provides training on clean water management. The EPA has focused on improving training they provide to Native American Tribes and Nations. Organizers for EPA regions 1 and 2 reached out to the Cornell Biological Field Station Great Lakes Lab to assist in freshwater invasive species identification training for Native American Tribes and Nations in those regions. Elizabeth Whitmore-Stolar worked with other collaborators from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center to create and present a half day training seminar. The training provided by Elizabeth Whitmore-Stolar was on the identification of invasive fish and invertebrates in EPA regions 1 and 2. Resources on freshwater invasive animals and plants were also provided by New York State Sea Grant.

Oneida Lake

2021 CBFS Annual Report

Apr 15, 2022

The Cornell Biological Field Station Annual Report for 2021 is now available.  Enjoy!

fin clip

Fisheries Research Continues on Oneida Lake

Apr 14, 2022

On April 12, 2022, Cornell Field Station staff completed the marking portion of the 2022 Oneida Lake walleye mark-recapture population estimate. Over 21,000 adult walleye were marked with a fin clip and released back into the lake. Later in the summer and fall, walleye will be collected throughout the lake and the ratio of marked to unmarked walleye will allow researchers to estimate the population. Oneida Lake is home to the State’s most valuable walleye sportfishery.
This study is conducted in cooperation with the NYSDEC Oneida Fish Cultural Station located in Constantia, New York. Hatchery personnel set nets around the mouth of Scriba Creek, a known walleye spawning tributary of Oneida Lake, to collect male and female walleye as they prepare for spawning. Walleye are brought into the hatchery and stripped of their eggs and sperm. Once stripped, fish are marked by Cornell staff and then released back into Scriba Creek.
Fertilized eggs are transferred to hatchery jars where they will incubate for about 3 weeks until hatching. Most of the newly hatched fry are then stocked back into Oneida Lake, with the remainder being held and raised to fingerling stage and stocked in other NYS waters. This is the State’s only walleye hatchery and is the source of fish for the entire walleye propagation program.

Mysid dawn descent to 100 m depth in Lake Ontario as observed with hydroacoustics

The cost of predator avoidance – examples of migrating Mysis

Mar 14, 2022

With Steve Chipps (South Dakota State Coop Unit), David Bennett (University of Idaho) and David Delauriers (Universite de Quebec in Rimouski), we evaluated the cost of avoiding predators using a linked foraging-bioenergetics models for mysids.  Mysids are up to 25mm long predators that migrate from deep water, often more than 100 m deep, towards the surface at night to feed on zooplankton and also phytoplankton. Data on both mysid distributions and the distribution of their prey from Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho were combined with bioenergetics to show that food consumption of mysids would have been 1.6 times higher if the mysids distribution was not limited by moon light.  Simulated growth rates increased 74% if mysids moved higher in the water column compared to simulated growth given the observed distribution.  This analysis allowed us to estimate the cost incurred by mysids by residing in deeper water on moon-lit nights. This is an important aspect of increasing our understanding of vertical migrations of mysid shrimps.
Chipps, S.R., Bennett, D.H., Deslauriers, D., Rudstam, L.G., 2022. The cost of avoiding predators: a bioenergetics analysis of diel vertical migration by the opossum shrimp (Mysis diluviana). Hydrobiologia on line.

Oneida Lake

Phytoplankton and cyanobacteria abundances in mid- 21st century lakes depend strongly on future land use and climate projections

Nov 22, 2021

CBFS scientist teamed up with limnologist from Germany, France, UK, Canada, Switzerland, and USA (Vermont and Ohio) to study how phytoplankton and in particular cyanobacteria are affected by climate change and land use change in Europe and North America.  Data from 1971 to 2016 on 29 focal lake basins and 1567 lakes across regions were analyzed, with Oneida Lake having one of the longer time series available.  On average, lakes were expected to have higher phytoplankton due to increase in both temperature and urban land use and decreases in forested land.  The importance of land use changes compared to climate change varied among regions, with lakes in urban areas mostly influenced by land use.  Our quantitative analyses suggest local management measures should focus on retaining nutrients  in urban landscapes to prevent nutrient pollution from exacerbating ongoing changes to lake ecosystems from climate change.  The article was published in Global Change Biology this week and is available open source at
Kakouei, K., Kraemer, B., Anneville, O., Carvalho, L., Feuchtmayr, H., Graham, J., Higgins, S., Pomati, F., Rudstam, L., Stockwell, J., Thackeray, S., Vanni, M. and Adrian, R. (2021) Phytoplankton and cyanobacteria abundances in mid-21st century lakes depend strongly on future land use and climate projections. Global Change Biology 27, 6409-6422.

Great Lakes

Lake Ontario Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) 2023 Science Priority Planning Workshop Report

Nov 22, 2021

A virtual workshop for identifying Lake Ontario research priorities for the upcoming 2023 CSMI field year was held June 28-29, 2021. The workshop was funded by the International Joint Commission and hosted by Cornell University and NY Sea Grant. Staff of the US EPA and the River Institute provided context for the CSMI and LAMP and the 2018 CSMI field year efforts. Over 150 participants were registered and 130 participated in six breakout groups.

Ice on Oneida Lake

New CBFS Publication: Loss of Ice Cover, Shifting Phenology, and More Extreme Events in Northern Hemisphere Lakes

Oct 18, 2021

Together with colleagues around the world, we analyzed data on lake ice for lakes with more than 100 years of data to look for changes in trends with more recent data, and look for the possible increase in extreme events.  This included CBFS data from both Oneida and Cazenovia lakes.  Here is the plain language summary from the paper:
The timing of lake ice-on and ice-off has been observed for decades to centuries because of its importance to refrigeration, transportation, recreation, and cultural traditions. Further, the timing of lake ice is a sensitive indicator of climate as freshwater freezes at 0°C. In our study, we found that ice duration was more than two weeks shorter per century in 60 lakes distributed across the Northern Hemisphere. In the last 25-year period, trends in ice-on and duration were over six times faster than in previous quarter centuries. More extremely late ice-on and early ice-off years, in addition to years in which a lake did not freeze at all, contributed to this alarming rate of lake ice loss. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to preserve the existence of annual lake ice cover within this century. 
The paper is available open access
Sharma, S., D. C. Richardson, R. I. Woolway, M. A. Imrit, D. Bouffard, K. Blagrave, J. Daly, A. Filazzola, N. Granin, J. Korhonen, J. Magnuson, W. Marszelewski, S.-I. S. Matsuzaki, W. Perry, D. M. Robertson, L. G. Rudstam, G. A. Weyhenmeyer, and H. Yao. 2021. Loss of ice cover, shifting phenology, and more extreme events in Northern Hemisphere lakes. JGR Biogeosciences 126:e2021JG006348.

New CBFS publication: Perspective in Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science.

Sep 3, 2021

Consequences of changing water clarity on the fish and fisheries of the Laurentian Great Lakes

A result of a Great Lakes Fisheries Commission funded workshop at the CBFS, a group of participants continued working over the last year to provide a perspective on increases water clarity on fish and fisheries in Great Lakes and elsewhere. This analysis is a cooperation between USGS Great Lakes lab, EPA GLNPO, NOAA- GLERL, DFO Canada, Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, Sea Grant, and several universities (Cornell, Miami, Ohio and Purdue) and is an excellent example of the insights possible when combining data from biological monitoring of fish, lower trophic levels, and light measurements that the Great Lakes group of CBFS is heavily involved with.  Find the full paper as open access at:
David B. Bunnell, Stuart A. Ludsin, Roger L. Knight, Lars G. Rudstam, Craig E. Williamson, Tomas O. Höök, Paris D. Collingsworth, Barry M. Lesht, Richard P. Barbiero, Anne E. Scofield, Edward S. Rutherford, Layne Gaynor, Henry A. Vanderploeg, and Marten A. Koops
Abstract: Human-driven environmental change underlies recent changes in water clarity in many of the world’s great lakes, yet our understanding of the consequences of these changes on the fish and fisheries they support remains incomplete. Herein, we offer a framework to organize current knowledge, guide future research, and help fisheries managers understand how water clarity can affect their valued populations. Emphasizing Laurentian Great Lakes findings where possible, we describe how changing water clarity can directly affect fish populations and communities by altering exposure to ultraviolet radiation, foraging success, predation risk, reproductive behavior, or territoriality. We also discuss how changing water clarity can affect fisheries harvest and assessment through effects on fisher behavior and sampling efficiency (i.e., catchability). Finally, we discuss whether changing water clarity can affect understudied aspects of fishery performance, including economic and community benefits. We conclude by identifying generalized predictions and discuss their implications for priority research questions for the Laurentian Great Lakes. Even though the motivation for this work was regional, the breadth of the review and generality of the framework are readily transferable to other freshwater and marine habitats

Larval Coregonines

Contemporary spatial extent and environmental drivers of larval coregonine distributions across Lake Ontario

Aug 4, 2021

A new study of coregonine (Coregonus spp.) metapopulations in Lake Ontario, led by Taylor Brown (PhD student, Cornell University) for her MSc thesis research, was published this week in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. A binational team of university and agency scientists undertook a comprehensive ichthyoplankton assessment to understand the contemporary spatial extent of coregonine spawning habitat across Lake Ontario through the 2018 Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI). Between April 10 and May 14, the project team collected 1,092 ichthyoplankton tows and captured 2,350+ coregonine larvae across 17 out of 39 sampling areas, predominantly within embayments. Larval coregonine densities were highest in the eastern basin; coregonine larvae were also detected in historical south shore embayments where successful spawning has not been recently observed. Most captured coregonine larvae were cisco (C. artedi), with less than 6% being lake whitefish (C. clupeaformis). Statistical analyses found that catches of both species across sampling areas were strongly and similarly associated with ice cover duration, but the importance of site-specific characteristics varied, suggesting that regional-scale climatic drivers and local environmental habitat characteristics interact to regulate early life stage success. Overall, strong regional and cross-species variation in larval distributions emphasize the importance of continued lake-wide assessments for monitoring both the current eastern basin populations and potential expansions into western Lake Ontario habitats. The full paper is available to download through this link:
Brown, T. A., S. A. Sethi, L. G. Rudstam, J. P. Holden, M. J. Connerton, D. Gorsky, C. T. Karboski, M. A. Chalupnicki, N. M. Sard, E. F. Roseman, S. E. Prindle, M. J. Sanderson, T. M. Evans, A. Cooper, D. J. Reinhart, C. Davis, and B. C. Weidel. 2021. Contemporary spatial extent and environmental drivers of larval coregonine distributions across Lake Ontario. Journal of Great Lakes Research. (in press)

Cercopagis pengoi

Spines and surplus: existing inducible defenses and abundant resources may reduce the impacts of Cercopagis pengoi on a likely prey species. Aquatic Invasions. (in press)

Jul 2, 2021

Stephanie Figary (Cornell, PhD candidate) and Dr. Kimberly Schulz (SUNY ESF) published an article in Aquatic Invasions that is available through this link: . In the article, titled “Spines and surplus: existing inducible defenses and abundant resources may reduce the impacts of Cercopagis pengoi on a likely prey species,” the authors investigated the impact of the invasive predatory zooplankton, Cercopagis pengoi, on the native predatory zooplankton (Leptodora), on expected prey item (Bosmina), and estimated the impact of Cercopagis on herbivorous zooplankton using bioenergetic estimates. This research occurred in the New York Finger Lakes where Cercopagis invaded half of the Finger Lakes in 1999 (Canadaigua, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Otisco) while the other six lakes have remained non-invaded. The authors found that Bosmina in the invaded lakes were more likely to use an inducible defense mechanism, believed to protect against invertebrate predation, than Bosmina from the non-invaded lakes. Additionally, the impact of Cercopagis on herbivorous zooplankton was estimated to be low throughout most of the summer using bioenergetics equations, which may explain the observed occurrence of both Cercopagis and Leptodora in the invaded lakes.



CBFS Creel Survey

May 21, 2021

Each year CBFS conducts a summer creel survey to measure catch and harvest of Oneida’s most popular sportfish.  To measure catch and harvest, we need information on angling effort, and angler catch and harvest rates.   Angling effort is estimated by fixed point boat counts conducted from a tower from the opening of walleye season through the end of July.  Counts are conducted at two random times on two randomly selected weekdays and both weekend days each week.  Exit interviews are conducted on two randomly selected weekdays and both weekend days during either a morning shift (0800-1400) or afternoon shift (1400-2000), also randomly selected.  Exit interviews are conducted at three boat launches, South Shore Boat Launch, Godfrey Point Boat Launch and Oneida Shores, and location for each day is randomly selected.  For each interview, anglers are asked what they were fishing for, the times they started and ended their fishing trip for the day, the number of fish they caught and they kept by species, and then the interview is concluded with a set of 5 opinion questions.

This year, Max Vasicek is our creel technician.  He is an avid angler and outdoor enthusiast.  In addition to his creel duties, he has been helping us with various fisheries surveys and sample processing.  Max has already proven to be a valuable addition to the fisheries team here at the field station, and we look forward to having him around for the rest of the summer.  

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown receives Exemplary Service Award-Early Career

May 13, 2021

Congratulations to Taylor Brown, PhD student, the recipient of the 2021 Exemplary Service Award-Early Career. 

This award recognizes students who have a demonstrated track record of exemplary service to the Cornell graduate and professional student community, especially in the areas of diversity, inclusion, outreach, and student engagement. Service might include but is not limited to efforts to build a stronger graduate and professional student community through peer mentorship and support, student advocacy, and support of student organizations. 

Taylor will be honored at the virtual awards celebration on May 26th. 

Stephanie Figary

Stephanie Figary awarded David M. Dolan Scholarship

May 13, 2021

Congratulations to Stephanie Figary, 2021 recipient of the David M. Dolan Scholarship for her proposal, Zooplankton as indicators: Understanding the Great Lakes through decades of zooplankton monitoring. 

Stephanie is receiving this award for "advancing the understanding and management of Great Lakes ecosystems using quantitative and applied approaches."

When asked about the award, Stephanie shared the following:
"The proposal I submitted mirrors my dissertation research proposal of using long-term existing zooplankton (and other parameters) datasets to better understand the Great Lakes and the use of zooplankton as indicators overall. All of this work is using existing zooplankton datasets from Cornell's Biological Monitoring Program (1995-present) and the EPA GLNPO monitoring data (1983-present). Objective 1 also includes global datasets from GLEON partners.
My project aims are:
1- Determine the use of zooplankton as indicators in the Great Lakes and globally through the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON).
2- Better understand the nearshore zone of Lake Ontario, which is vital for larval fish, including factors that influence zooplankton community variability in this habitat zone, such as tributary influence or timing of stratification. I am presenting on this next week at IAGLR with a presentation titled "Comparing Lake Ontario’s nearshore and offshore zooplankton communities using long term monitoring datasets"
3- Determine the impact of day and nighttime sampling on existing zooplankton samples for the Great Lakes
4- Use the results from objective three to accurately use zooplankton surface sampling (tow depth of 20m) from 1983 to 2019 to determine how the zooplankton community responded to reductions in nutrient loading and the addition of several invasive species, including Dreissena spp., Cercopagis pengoi, and Bythotrephes longimanus.

The scholarship was established in 2014 in memory of David M. Dolan, whose work in applied mathematics, statistics and computer modeling served to provide a quantitative basis for phosphorus management on the Great Lakes. The award is given to a student conducting graduate research in statistics, mathematical modeling, data analysis, and/or quantitative decision support that advances understanding and management of Great Lakes ecosystems. 

Six decades of Lake Ontario ecological history according to benthos

Apr 19, 2021

Buffalo State (Burlakova, Karatayev, Hrycik, Daniel and Mehler) and CBFS scientist (Rudstam and Watkins) worked with DFO Canada (Dermott), EPA Duluth (Scharold), NOAA-GLERL (Elgin) and University of Michigan (Nalepa) to put together and analyze “Six decades of Lake Ontario ecological history according to benthos”. The paper is now available through the Journal of Great Lakes Research through May 31  In this paper Burlakova and coauthors used multivariate community analyses to examine temporal changes in community composition over the last 54 years and to assess the major drivers of long-term changes in the bottom fauna of Lake Ontario. This fauna underwent significant transformations that correspond with three major periods. The first period, termed the pre/early Dreissena period (1964–1990), was characterized by high densities of burrowing amphipods Diporeia, fingernail clams, and worms (oligochaetes). During the next period defined by zebra mussel dominance (the 1990s) the same groups were still prevalent, but at altered densities. In the most recent period (2000s to present), which is characterized by the dominance and proliferation of quagga mussels deeper into the lake, the community has changed dramatically: Diporeia almost completely disappeared, fingernail clams have greatly declined, and densities of quagga mussels, worms and midge larvae have increased. This paper is the first to combine all available lake-wide studies of benthos in Lake Ontario to document the dramatic changes that have occurred in the lake through the quagga mussel invasion.  These mussels have changed the Lake Ontario benthic community, historically dominated by Diporeia, oligochaetes and fingernail clams, to a community dominated by quagga mussels and oligochaetes.
Burlakova, L. E., A. Y. Karatayev, A. R. Hrycik, S. E. Daniel, K. Mehler, L. G. Rudstam, J. M. Watkins, R. Dermott, J. Scharold, A. K. Elgin, and T. F. Nalepa. 2021. Six decades of Lake Ontario ecological history according to benthos. Journal of Great Lakes Research. On line access

CBFS limnology conducted by Kristen Holeck and Chris Hotaling

The extent and variability of storm‐induced temperature changes in lakes measured with long‐term and high‐frequency data

Apr 7, 2021

CBFS and 36 other scientist worked within and a trans-Atlantic research program led by Orlanne Anneville at Thonon, France, and Jason Stockwell in Vermont to investigate the effects of storms on lake ecosystems. The most recent publication is by Doubek and 36 other scientist including CBFS scientist Rudstam in the premier journal Limnology and Oceanography and can be accessed through this link: The intensity and frequency of storms are projected to increase in many regions of the world because of climate change. They analyzed 18 long-term and high-frequency lake datasets including Oneida Lake, from 11 countries to assess the magnitude of wind- versus rainstorm-induced changes in epilimnetic temperature. They found small day-to-day epilimnetic temperature decreases in response to strong wind and heavy rain during stratified conditions. Epilimnetic temperature change from windstorms, but not rainstorms, was negatively correlated with maximum lake depth. However, even the largest storm-induced mean epilimnetic temperature decreases were typically less than 2ºC. Day-to-day temperature change, in the absence of storms, often exceeded storm-induced temperature changes. Because storm-induced temperature changes to lake surface waters were minimal, changes in other limnological variables (e.g., nutrient concentrations or light) from storms may have larger impacts on biological communities than temperature changes. This is an example of the ongoing work using Oneida Lake data as part of larger global collaborations through the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network.

CBFS crew aboard R/V Lake Guardian

CBFS Great Lakes crew sampling again in 2021

Apr 7, 2021

After missing most Great Lakes field sampling in 2020 due to COVID-19, we are very excited to be able to go out on all five Great Lakes on the R/V Lake Guardian in April 2021. Our crew includes CBFS Technicians Joe Connolly, Beth Whitmore, Chris Marshall, and Alexandrea Rice who will collect zooplankton, mysid shrimp, and chlorophyll samples that will be analyzed over several months at CBFS. Cornell and CBFS Alum Annie Scofield is also on board in her new position as biology technical lead for EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) in Chicago. In preparation, the crew had to endure a two week quarantine stay in separate rooms in a hotel in Milwaukee, WI. Thankfully everyone tested negative, boarded the ship, and have successfully sampled Lake Michigan. Currently the crew is sampling Lake Huron. One additional challenge is that the crew have to stay on board (no shore leave) for the entire month until the boat returns to Milwaukee. Careful planning by GLNPO including consulting with medical professionals was essential for us to have this opportunity. We are looking forward to continuing the long term time series. 

Evaluation of fish avoidance to acoustic vessels

Mar 25, 2021

CBFS scientist Rudstam and Simonin teamed up with Dufour and Deller from Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Kocovksy from the USGS Great Lakes Science Center to evaluate the importance of vessel avoidance for acoustics surveys in Lake Erie. Three vessels ranging in lengths from 7 to 60 m equipped with similar hydroacoustics units were used simultaneously in Central Lake Erie. Fish abundances obtained by the three vessels were highly correlated but absolute values were significantly different by ~20%, highlighting differential responses of the fish populations to these vessels and the importance of inter-vessel comparisons in fisheries surveys. This paper was published in Fisheries Research last week and is available for free download for the next 50 days.
DuFour, M., P. M. Kocovsky, J. Deller, P. W. Simonin, and L. G. Rudstam. 2021. Hydroacoustic survey standardization: Inter-vessel differences in fish densities and potential effects of vessel avoidance. Fisheries Research 239:105948.

Toby Holda

New publication documents lake-wide, seasonal dynamics of Mysis in Lake Michigan during 2015

Jan 2, 2021

CBFS scientists Holda, Rudstam, and Watkins teamed up with NOAA fishery biologist Pothoven, USGS research fisheries biologist Warner, and National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine professor Khyrstenko to investigate Lake Michigan Mysis diluviana population during 2015.  Mysids are small 5 -20 mm long shrimp-like crustaceans that are both predators on smaller zooplankton and a major prey of fish in the Great Lakes. They migrate from the bottom into the water column at night and have to be sampled under red light as they avoid even low light levels but cannot perceive red light. The researchers were able to take a lake-wide, year-long, perspective the Lake Michigan Mysis population, looking at spatial and seasonal patterns in abundance and estimating annual life history rates.  This paper presents the most detailed study of the mysid population in Lake Michigan since the 1970s.  Mysids represented 10-13% of the total zooplankton biomass in the lake in 2015. Density and biomass were higher offshore as mysids prefer deep, cold water.  Size structure analysis indicated generation times of 2 years making this animal the most long-lived zooplankton in the lake.  More worrisome was that mysid production in Lake Michigan in 2015 was lower than most previous estimates in any of the Great Lakes.  Lower annual secondary production by Mysis is a concern for fish managers as many of the important forage fish species feed heavily on Mysis.  The paper “Lake-wide, annual status of the Mysis diluviana population in Lake Michigan in 2015” in the Journal of Great Lakes Research is available online.

Goby densities with a drop-down camera

New Buffalo-CBFS publication: The last 30 years of mussel abundance in Lake Ontario

Dec 17, 2020

Drs. Karatayev, Burlakova and Mehler from Buffalo State’s Great Lakes Science Center teamed up with CBFS scientist Rudstam and Watkins, EPA scientist Wick and NOAA scientist Elgin to investigate dreissenid mussels in Lake Ontario.  Since 1990, eight lake-wide surveys of zebra and quagga mussels have been conducted on Lake Ontario. This data was combined with the 2018 CSMI survey conducted as part of the Cornell-Buffalo grant on the Great Lakes Biological Program.  Quagga mussels is the dominant benthic invertebrate, which replaced zebra mussels in Lake Ontario in the 1990s and has continued to increase lake-wide through 2018.  This is primarily due to increases in the offshore deep waters of the lake.  Clearly, the ecosystem effects of mussels continue to affect the lake. Goby densities were assessed with a dropdown camera.  There were some indication of goby predation reducing mussel recruitment. The paper “Dreissena in Lake Ontario 30 years post-invasion” in the Journal of Great Lakes Research is available online.

CBFS Scientist Watkins sampling aboard The Guardian

The State of Lake Huron in 2018

Nov 13, 2020

Cornell Biological Field Station scientists teamed up with colleagues from the US and Canada to analyze data on lower trophic levels in Lake Huron. The report in the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission special publication series is available on line. These analyses shows relatively stable nutrient, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos in Lake Huron since 2006 after a rather sharp decline in all but the benthos in 2003-2004. The report is based on data collected by the EPA Biomonitoring Program (Cornell for zooplankton, mysids, and deep chlorophyll layers - Watkins, Rudstam and Scofield, Buffalo State for benthos – Karatayev and Burlakova; University of Minnesota for phytoplankton – Reavie, EPA for nutrients and satellite data – Barbiero, Lesht and Hinchey, and nearshore data from Ontario – Howell). There collaborations among Great Lakes scientists is a hallmark of CBFS’s Great Lakes program.

Scientists aboard the R/V Lake Guardian use the rosette sampler to record measurements and take water samples from the lake surface to the bottom. Photo credit: Kristy Phillips

Effect of Lake Trophic State on Great Lakes Chlorophyll Distribution and Implications for Long-Term Trends

Oct 2, 2020

CBFS graduate student now Dr. Annie Scofield working with Watkins and Rudstam from CBFS and Eric Osantowski from EPA recently published a study in the journal Limnology and Oceanography that highlights the importance of comparing how chlorophyll distributions vary in the Great Lakes, both across lakes and over time.  The study is based on data collected from the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office vessel R/V Lake Guardian.  Deep chlorophyll layers contribute to the productivity of these lakes and affect distributions of zooplankton and fish.  Given the current ecological changes in the Great Lakes, it is important to better understand how these deep chlorophyll are affected by nutrients and water clarity, and the ultimate effects on the food web. This paper is the first study to compare the formation and extent of these deep chlorophyll layers across the five Great Lakes. The authors found that light determines the depth of the DCL and the productivity of the layer is higher in Lake Ontario than in the upper Great Lakes. Dr. Scofield also worked with undergraduate interns on this project, including Kayden Nasworthy and Catherine Louie (summer ’15). 

Scientists pictured aboard the R/V Lake Guardian include the author of the study Annie Scofield along with former Cornell Biological Field Station intern and Duke Fellow Catherine Louie (summer '15). 

Barcoding Workshop held at Shackelton Point

Jul 9, 2020

At the end of February 2020, scientists as well as EPA representatives managing or participating in the GLRI Barcoding Initiative project gathered at Cornell Biological Field Station to share updates with the group. 

The fisheries and limnology of Oneida Lake 2019

May 7, 2020

Oneida Lake is New York State’s 3rd most heavily fished lake. Walleye have historically received the majority of targeted effort, with black bass increasing in importance in recent years. Long-term monitoring of the fisheries and limnology of Oneida Lake has captured a series of changes in recent decades that have resulted in pronounced changes in the lake’s physical and biological characteristics, including reductions in nutrient inputs resulting from the Great Lakes Basin water quality agreements;  establishment of invasive dreissenid mussels resulting in increases in water clarity; increases in summer water temperatures and decreases in duration of ice cover; establishment of a breeding population of double-crested cormorants; and increases in populations of white perch and gizzard shad. 

Anna Poslednik

Recent Cornell Biological Field Station intern Awarded Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Apr 15, 2020

Congratulations to recent Cornell Biological Field Station intern Anna Poslednik ’21 in receiving the Goldwater Scholarship.  The Goldwater Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards available to sophomores and juniors across U.S. colleges who show exceptional promise in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering.
As one of the selected 396 recipients from approximately 5,000 nominees, she will receive up to $7,500 to cover expenses like tuition, books and room and board for her senior year. As part of the selection process, colleges nominate up to four students who intend to pursue a career in research and have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Anna first started her research at her summer 2019 internship guided by Postdoc Tom Evans and Senior Research Associate Randy Jackson. The following is an excerpt taken from the Cornell Daily Sun.

What We Don't Know (About Lakes) Could Hurt Us

Mar 6, 2020

As the power of extreme weather events increase with climate change, a team of scientists warn that lakes around the world may dramatically change, threatening ecosystem health and water quality.

The Spiny Water Flea, Bythotrephes Longimanus

Sep 23, 2019

The spiny water flea, Bythotrephes longimanus, a predatory zooplankton species native to lakes in Europe, has been found for the first time in Oneida Lake this week.  

Comparison of Great Lakes Zooplankton Communities/Great Lakes restoration Initiative

Jul 26, 2019

(July 25, 2019) A new paper published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, authored by U.S. EPA contract scientists Rick Barbiero and Barry Lesht and Cornell University researchers Lars Rudstam and Jim Watkins, offers an unprecedented look at zooplankton communities across the Great Lakes during a period of great change in the lakes.

Record Sturgeon

Recent Sturgeon Catch May Be the Largest Fish Ever Recorded From Oneida Lake

Jun 19, 2019

Last week, researchers at the Cornell University Biological Field Station may have set a new mark 
for the largest fish ever recorded from Oneida Lake. A netting survey for lake sturgeon resulted in 
the tagging and release of a 139 pound sturgeon, the largest sturgeon handled since the sturgeon 
netting survey began 17 years ago in 2002, and possibly the largest fish ever documented in Oneida Lake.