MADISON (WKOW) -- UW-Madison scientists and engineers will try to warm Crystal Lake in Vilas County to prevent the spread of an invasive species.
The rainbow smelt, an invasive fish that threatens native species such as walleye and perch, will soon be feeling the heat.
The experiment will kill the unwanted fish from Wisconsin lakes thanks to University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists and engineers.
They will warm Crystal Lake in an effort to selectively wipe out the smelt.
Using a device known as a GELI, the researchers will mix the waters of the 83-acre lake to warm the cool, deeper waters where the rainbow smelt thrive.
The idea is to use the GELI to warm the deeper waters of the lake by a few degrees to a temperature the invasive fish is unable to tolerate.
Using the device, the Wisconsin researchers will warm Crystal Lake by about 6 degrees Fahrenheit, bringing the average July temperature of the lake to nearly 66 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature intended to make things uncomfortable for the invasive fish.
The rainbow smelt is a native of the northeast coast of the United States and was brought to the American Midwest in the 1920s as a potential food source for walleyes, one of Wisconsin's most prized game fish. But the smelt spread to lakes Michigan and Superior and is now finding its way to many of Wisconsin's smaller inland lakes.