So far, so good. That's the latest news available regarding dissolved oxygen content and water temperatures for several lakes in the Minot region. Biologists are paying close attention to North Dakota waters this summer because of the early spring and hot summer that has led to lakes and rivers warming sooner than usual.
Some lakes have actually seen their temperatures fall a few degrees from what they were in early July. The reason why is the occurrence of a few cooler days and nights mixed with occasional wind. However, cautions North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologist Jason Lee, Riverdale, some problems could still arise.
"The cooling down a bit has been nice to see, but we've got August left," said Lee.
August is known for producing some of North Dakota's hottest temperatures. Water temperatures in the 80's can cause problems for fish, including northern pike. About a dozen summer fish kills have occurred in the state this summer, but none have been reported recently.
According to Lee, a plus for lakes in the Minot area is full water conditions. Many small lakes were two to five feet lower a few years ago.
"So far everything looks pretty good," said Lee. "We looked at the Souris in three different locations. It wasn't great but not really bad either. We sampled three Turtle Mountain lakes. Lake Metigoshe, Strawberry Lake and Carbury Dam were all decent for dissolved oxygen levels."
Water temperatures in the Souris at Minot ranged from 77.5 to 78.6 degrees. Game and Fish was scheduled to deploy trap nets in the Souris in Minot this past week. One of the purposes of the netting was to attempt to determine the impact of last year's flooding on fish populations in the Souris.