uw-madison trout lake station

The UW-Madison Trout Lake research station in Boulder Junction won’t be hosting its popular end-of-summer open house this year.

Instead, it has found a different way to involve the public.

Usually, station open house welcomes hundreds of people to learn about lake research projects.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced it to go a different direction.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Are the Northwoods walleye you catch safe to eat, or do they have too much mercury?

The answer is tied to several factors, but new research shows a surprising variable might have the biggest effect.

The water level of the lake where you caught the fish could tell you more about its safety than anything else.

The realization of the connection started years ago, when lakes researcher Dr. Carl Watras found an interesting trend.