Every ice angler experiences it, sooner or later: A "guaranteed spot" that crawls with fish every winter suddenly fails to produce. Such events seem especially prevalent during extreme winters, like the one we experienced last year. The winter of produced thicker ice, heavier snowfall, and colder average temperatures than normal.
We drink waterwe swim in it, we wash with it, and we cool things down with it. Because water is so common, many of us fail to notice just how strange it is compared to other substances. When we plop an ice cube or two into our drink during the warmer months, we watch it float above the liquid in our glass without a second thought.
In cold winter months, lakes and rivers freeze over forming ice. Yet, fish and other aquatic animals manage to survive. Animals like seals, penguins, walruses and a wide variety of sea birds are all fish eaters.
This is a great question! To answer it, we first need to think about phases of matter: Gas, liquid, and solid. Matter is made up of particles called atoms and molecules.
Have you ever wondered what is happening beneath the ice on a frozen lake? How do fish and other organisms survive for so long beneath the frozen surface? Let's back up just a bit to talk about what happens before the lake freezes.
This provides us with another great season of fun on the lake. While many of us are looking forward to the cross country skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling opportunities that our favorite lake will soon offer, we must wait patiently for the ice to form and become thick enough to support us and our recreational gear. As the air temperature drops during late-summer, the temperature of the upper layer of the lake drops too.
Warm water generally gets more dense as it gets colder, and therefore sinks. This fact may lead you to believe that ice should form on the bottom of a lake first. But a funny thing happens to water as it gets even colder. As a result, close to freezing, colder water floats to the top and the warmer water sinks to the bottom.
Bring on the cold and snow so we can ski, skate, snowshoe, ice fish and snowmobile. This week, I noticed that some small ponds have a thin layer of ice on them. This prompted me to think abo ut when and how our lakes freeze over in this area.
The nature of the ice formations may be as simple as a floating layer that gradually thickens, or it may be extremely complex, particularly when the water is fast-flowing. Much of the world experiences weather well below the freezing point, and in these regions ice forms annually in lakes and rivers. About half the surface waters of the Northern Hemisphere freeze annually. In warmer climates, waters may freeze only occasionally during periods of unusual cold, and in extremely cold areas of the world, such as Antarctica, lakes may have a permanent ice cover.