By COLLEEN OTTE
Capital News Service
LANSING — It might seem counterintuitive, but when trying to examine the bottom of Lake Huron, researchers discovered it is helpful to take a look from space. Satellite imagery offers a new tool for identifying nearshore habitats where lake trout spawn across broad areas of the Great Lakes, according to a recent study in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. Researchers have been using satellite imagery to look at how the distribution of lake-floor algae in the Great Lakes is changing, said Amanda Grimm, lead author of the study and an assistant research scientist at the Michigan Tech Research Institute in Ann Arbor. While studying lake trout rehabilitation in the Drummond Island Refuge in northern Lake Huron, U.S. Geological Survey researchers noticed that the stony reefs, where they found lake trout laying eggs, were cleaner of algae than surrounding areas, Grimm said. They realized the difference might be seen from satellite, which would help find good lake trout spawning grounds.