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Report outlines how climate change could dent Minnesota fish numbers

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As water temperatures go up, fish numbers are poised to go down -- at least certain types of fish in certain Minnesota lakes.

A new report by the National Wildlife Federation takes a closer look at how freshwater fish might be affected by climate change. Here in Minnesota the biggest threat may be to the cisco, a small fish that's a primary source of food for walleye and northern pike. The Associated Press reports a DNR expert doubts ciscoes will survive warmer temperatures in Mille Lacs or a majority of the other Minnesota lakes where they now live.

Trout streams could also suffer, according to the federation's report.

As for Mille Lacs, walleye numbers fell to a 40-year low in last year's DNR survey. The agency responded in part by tightening regulations on the state's most popular fishing lake.

Some of the business owners who suffered from a dearth of tourist traffic this summer contend the stricter limits are what kept anglers away.

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