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22 June 2005

For More Information:  
Philip Moy, Fisheries Specialist, (920) 683-4697
James Hurley, Assistant Director for Research and Outreach, (608) 262-0905


MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin anglers heading out on the water this weekend, as well as students heading back to the classroom this fall, now have access to the latest available Great Lakes surface water temperature information via the Web at www.coastwatch.msu.edu.
The CoastWatch site captures daily National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite transmissions and presents the most current information as contour lines called isotherms. The maps are available for all five Great Lakes—now featuring zoom‑in images of Lakes Michigan and Superior. 

“We’re pleased to contribute to this regional project because of the importance of surface water temperatures to anglers and commercial fishing operations,” said UW Sea Grant Director Anders Andren. “Because these maps are updated frequently and are available year-round, the site can also be used as a real-time teaching tool for science classes."

Besides lakewide regional temperature maps, the zoom-in feature provides coverage of seven Wisconsin Great Lakes ports: Racine, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Kewaunee, Sturgeon Bay, Washburn and Superior. Coverage for each port spans a 25 to 30 mile radius so that detailed information for surrounding ports is available as well. 

"Surface temperatures can change quickly with weather, winds and lake currents. CoastWatch can help anglers save time and fuel searching for temperature breaks,” said Philip Moy, Wisconsin Sea Grant fisheries specialist. “This zoom feature for ports gives anglers detailed coverage of the entire Wisconsin shoreline for both Lakes Michigan and Superior."

CoastWatch also has a help page that includes frequently asked questions, fishery information and map terminology, plus links to several other Great Lakes Web sites.  

Michigan Sea Grant developed and hosts the CoastWatch site in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and Michigan State University. In addition to Wisconsin, Sea Grant programs in Minnesota, Illinois-Indiana, Ohio and New York help support CoastWatch as well.

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Conceived in 1966, Sea Grant is a national network of 30 university-based programs of research, outreach, and education for enhancing the practical use and conservation of coastal, ocean and Great Lakes resources to create a sustainable economy and environment. The National Sea Grant Network is a partnership of participating coastal states, private industry, and the National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

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