A lakeside companion

Ted Rulseh

Book - 2018

Why do fish jump? Why don't lakes freeze all the way down to the bottom? Which lake plants are invasive? What are those water bugs? Is that lake healthy? Whether you fish, paddle, swim, snowshoe, ski, or just gaze upon your favorite lake, A Lakeside Companion will deepen your appreciation for the forces that shape lakes and the teeming life in and around them. You'll discover the interconnected worlds of a lake: the water; the sand, gravel, rocks, and muck of the bottom; the surface of the lake; the air above; and the shoreline, a belt of land incredibly rich in flora and fauna. Explained, too, are the physical, biological, and chemical processes that determine how many and what kinds of fish live in the lake, which plants grow th...ere, the color and clarity of the water, how ice forms in winter and melts in spring, and much more. Useful advice will help you look out for your lake and advocate for its protection.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 577.63/Rulseh Checked In
Madison, Wisconsin : The University of Wisconsin Press [2018]
Main Author
Ted Rulseh (author)
Physical Description
xii, 193 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Preface
  • 1. Basics
  • Putting in the pier
  • How the glaciers did their work
  • How precious is water?
  • It's all connected
  • The impact of landscape position
  • Your lake is not an island
  • How lakes get their water
  • How long does your lake's water stay?
  • In the zone
  • Stories in sediment: Paleolimnology
  • Trophic status-one way to classify lakes
  • That all-important oxygen
  • Your lake has layers
  • Thin soup
  • It all starts with the sun
  • How clear is your lake?
  • The color of water
  • Light in the water
  • Wave energy
  • Your lake has a "skin"
  • How acid or alkaline is your lake?
  • The nitrogen cycle
  • How phosphorus behaves
  • How to know your lake better than almost everyone
  • 2. Fins
  • Fish anatomy: How they're built
  • Fish behavior: How they act and survive
  • Angling interludes
  • Species we treasure
  • 3. Frozen
  • The lake in autumn
  • Closing time
  • Smoke on the water
  • The lid goes on
  • The hard work of freezing
  • Here's why lakes don't freeze solid
  • Why won't moving water freeze?
  • The glass-bottomed boat
  • Oxygen and temperature
  • Just you and the otter
  • Who made those tracks in the snow?
  • Amazing ice
  • Why is it slippery?
  • An icy hurdle finally cleared
  • How much weight can it hold?
  • If you fell through
  • Crystal candles
  • To the new year
  • Late ice
  • The lake unveiled
  • What a difference a few days make
  • Daylight Saving Time
  • 2. Creatures
  • The ring of life
  • Zooplankton
  • Snapping turtles
  • Painted turtles: Here's why they bask
  • Bats: Night shadows
  • Clams and mussels: Not just stationary objects
  • Dragonfly riot
  • Fresh live bait
  • Damselflies: Glow sticks with wings
  • Fishing spiders
  • Frogs: Players in the band
  • Tadpoles and pollywogs
  • Meet the muskrat
  • Water striders: Row, row, row your bug
  • Crayfish: Freshwater lobsters
  • Mayflies: Up from the bottom
  • Midges: Those little white flies
  • Water snake: Slippery, stealthy, unnerving, harmless
  • Whirligig beetles: Can't catch this!
  • 5. Feathers
  • Any day, any season
  • Hooded merganser: With a "broken wing"
  • Duckling survival
  • Eagle efficiency
  • Fish hawk
  • Great blue heron
  • Kingfisher: What's that rattle?
  • Wood ducks
  • Common mergansers: Two pair
  • Swallows: Master aviators
  • Loons: Crown jewels of the lake
  • 6. Greeneery
  • Why do we call them weeds?
  • How water plants spread
  • Amazing algae
  • Pondweeds: Forests of the lakes
  • Fishermen's friend: Large-leaf pondweed
  • Northern blue flag: A beauty to behold
  • Milfoils: They're not all invasive
  • Duckweeds: Free floaters
  • Three kinds of pads
  • Hearts-and arrows: Pickerelweed and arrowhead
  • What's the rush?
  • Coontail conundrum
  • Wild celery
  • Bladderworts: Carnivorous vegetables
  • 7. Caring
  • 180.5 acres
  • Water quality: What's it worth?
  • Dark at night: What a concept!
  • Taking care of the fish
  • Getting warmer
  • The best gift you can give your lake
  • Who owns the waters?
  • A salty dilemma
  • The wood makes it good
  • If the bad guys were bigger
  • Who looks out for your lake?
  • Teaching kids to love the lake
  • If everybody did
  • Blazes of glory
  • Acknowledgments
  • Suggested Readings
  • Index
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Rulseh (On the Pond: Lake Michigan Reflections), author of the local Wisconsin newspaper column "The Lake Where You Live," presents a comprehensive and accessible guide to lake life. He introduces readers to the fundamentals: how these bodies of water came to exist (generally, via glaciers), the different ways that they are categorized (such as the distinction between drainage and seepage lakes), and the chemical compositions crucial to their continued existence. After going over the basics, the guidebook then delves into the amazing biological diversity present in lakes. Readers learn of the variety of fish that flourish there, from minnows to largemouth bass. Rulseh succinctly explains the features that they share, such as the lateral lines of their bodies used to "pick up vibrations in the water," and the features that make each different, like the walleyes' excellent vision, attained through "a layer of reflective crystals behind the retina," which makes them "deadly predators at night or in murky waters." Rulseh also thoroughly discusses the insects, plants, birds, and other kinds of life that inhabit lakes, along with the effects of changing seasons, the multitude of recreational activities available, and how the reader can help to protect these unique habitats. This concise primer will make an excellent addition to any nature lover's collection. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved