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Great Lakes Now Presents

Episode 2202: Shrinking Winter

The science of shrinking ice coverage, Great Lakes ice fishing and skating on wild ice. 

Explore

Shrinking Winter – Episode 2202

IN THIS EPISODE:

Scientists work to understand the causes and potential effects of less ice cover on the Great Lakes, a documentary photographer and three longtime ice anglers reflect on changes to the winter fishing season, and a competitive speed skater reflects on the joys of “wild ice.”

 

 

WHERE WE TAKE YOU IN FEBRUARY



 

GREAT LAKES LEARNING:

Explore this month’s hands-on lesson plans designed to help your middle schoolers understand the Great Lakes — all at home or in the classroom. They’re aligned to education standards AND free to download.

Lesson Plans

 

Have a question about the Great Lakes or life in the region?

Ask Great Lakes Now, and if we can answer it, we might loop it into our coverage so others can learn too.

Submit Your Question

 

When to Watch?

Check your local station for when Great Lakes Now is on in your area.

Premieres on DPTV

Wednesday, February 23, at 7:30 PM

STATIONS CARRYING THE SERIES


DPTV
Detroit, Michigan

WEAO
Akron, Ohio

WNEO-TV
Alliance, Ohio

WCML-TV
Alpena, Michigan

WDCP-TV
Bad Axe, Michigan

BCTV
Bay County, Michigan

WBGU-TV
Bowling Green, Ohio

WNED-TV
Buffalo, New York

WCMV-TV
Cadillac, Michigan

WTTW-TV
Chicago, Illinois

WVIZ-TV
Cleveland, Ohio

WKAR-TV
East Lansing, Michigan

WQLN-TV
Erie, Pennsylvania

WCMZ-TV
Flint, Michigan

WGVU-TV
Grand Rapids, Michigan

WPNE-TV
Green Bay, Wisconsin

WGVK-TV
Kalamazoo, Michigan

WHLA-TV
La Crosse, Wisconsin

WHA-TV
Madison, Wisconsin

WNMU-TV
Marquette, Michigan

WHWC-TV
Menomonie-Eau Claire, Wisconsin

WMVS-TV
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

WCMU-TV
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

WLEF-TV
Park Falls, Wisconsin

WNIT-TV
South Bend, Indiana

WCNY-TV
Syracuse, New York

WGTE-TV
Toledo, Ohio

WDCQ-TV
University Center, Michigan

WNPI-TV
Watertown, New York for Ontario signal

WPBS-TV
Watertown, New York for U.S. signal

WHRM-TV
Wausau, Wisconsin

In the Month of February on Great Lakes Now

Click the tabs to read descriptions of each feature in Episode 2202.

Great Lakes ice coverage. (Photo Credit: Great Lakes Outreach Media)

Watch The Feature

Shrinking Winter

SEGMENT 1 | Ann Arbor, MI; Muskegon, MI; all five lakes

Fifty years of observations make one thing clear: Great Lakes ice cover is declining. What does that mean for the lakes? And for the living beings that depend on them? We don’t know. The role of winter in the life of the Great Lakes is understudied, partly because freezing temperatures and ice make it hard to do anything on the lakes — including research. Now scientists are racing to fill in the gaps in our understanding, but how will they do it?

 

Here is other Great Lakes Now work on:

Cold Cover: Great Lakes ice forms after initial low percentage

Great Lakes researchers predict record-low ice coverage

Minnesota lake ice shrinking as climate change warms winters

Report: Warming climate will challenge Great Lakes states

Michigan is on thin ice. Get used to it, climate experts say.

Great Lakes Moment: Warmer, wetter, wilder

Documentary photographer Amy Sacka and her father Tim Sacka spend time on a pond near Lake St Clair. (Photo Credit: GLN)

Watch The Feature

Angling For Ice

SEGMENT 2 | Lake St Clair Metropark MI, Houghton Lake MI, Fort William First Nation, Ontario

The Great Lakes region is full of natural beauty all year round. No one knows this better than photographer Amy Sacka, whose most recent project “Last Ice” is focused on the tradition of ice fishing. But Sacka kept hearing one thing as she traveled around the lakes to take pictures: there’s less ice than there used to be.

Ice fishing is a pastime, a tradition, an industry, and a food source—and declining Great Lakes ice cover means sometimes it’s impossible.

 

Here is other Great Lakes Now work on: 

On Michigan’s inland lakes, ice fishing with less ice, and fewer fish

Warm weather has ice fishing industry on thin ice

Ontario’s Ice Fishing Extremes (A Great Lakes Now video)

Competitive speed skater Brian Hansen enjoys skating outdoors on wild ice. (Photo Credit: GLN)

Watch The Feature

Milwaukee Speed Skater

SEGMENT 3 | Milwaukee, WI

Brian Hansen is a three-time Olympic speed skater, but these days, he’s leaving the indoor rinks and exploring “wild ice,” on rivers and harbors and floating ice islands. For skaters, these natural surfaces bring incredible surroundings—and some very real safety concerns.

 

Here is other Great Lakes Now work on: 

Warm winter changes — but can’t stop — outdoor fun

Videos from Episode 2201
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Previous Episodes

Featured Articles

Water Always Wins: “Quietly radical” book makes case for Slow Water
- by Gary Wilson

In this Q&A with author Erica Gies, Gies says our fixation on controlling water has failed and it’s time for collaborative approaches.

AI technology could be used to monitor invaders in the Great Lakes
- by Brian Owens

Having artificial intelligence track the spread of invasive species would be quicker and cheaper, but only once scientists can guarantee accuracy.

Mapping the Great Lakes: Power up
- by Alex Hill

Around the region, you can find power plants for hydro, solar, wind, coal and more. In this map, see where those plants stand.

Water’s True Cost
- by Circle of Blue

The quality of Michigan’s water infrastructure and the consequences of failure, while still real and apparent, are no longer being ignored.

Digital Credits
The Great Lakes Now Series is produced by Rob Green and Sandra Svoboda.