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Where Do Fish Go in the Winter?

As the temperatures drop, the fish go deep. As we head indoors for the winter, finding refuge and warmth in a comfy chair by the fireplace or wrapped in a blanket in front of the T.V., fish and other aquatic life also look for a good place to hunker down for the winter. Those “good places” include deep pools and slow runs (flat water areas with slow moving water) in the stream, places with root wads and vegetation or backwater…

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How Does Salt Melt Snow and Ice?

We want to stay safe following a winter snow storm, so we clear roads, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks by plowing, shoveling and using salt. Have you ever wondered how salt melts ice? How Road Salt Works The freezing point of water is 32 degrees F. When the temperature drops to 32 degrees or below, hydrogen bonds between water molecules strengthen. The molecules arrange themselves into a crystalline structure, and liquid water becomes solid ice. When the temperature rises above…

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Anti-Icing: The Stripes That Keep You Safe

Have you ever noticed white stripes on the road in the winter? These stripes are the result of anti-icing techniques that help snow fighters clear roads quickly after a storm. What is Anti-icing? Anti-icing is a proactive approach to maintaining winter safety. Liquid chemical (such as sodium chloride or magnesium chloride) is applied to roads, bridge decks and parking lots before a forecasted storm to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. However, deicing is a much more…

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Fall Leaf Collection Protects Rivers and Streams

Leaves are a big topic of research when it comes to water quality issues coming from residential neighborhoods in the fall. Rainwater leaches nutrients from leaves lying in the street, creating a kind of “leaf tea.” The nutrient-rich leaf tea then flows down storm drains and into local streams. The nutrients from leaves, especially phosphorous, cause algal blooms that lower oxygen levels in the stream–less oxygen makes it harder for fish and aquatic insects to live there. The U.S. Geological…

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Enrich Your Soil with Fall Leaves and Leaf Mold

Leaves, like all organic materials, contain nutrients. The nutrients in leaves hurt our local rivers but help our lawns and gardens. This is because nutrients encourage plant growth. In streams, excess nutrients cause oxygen-depleting algae to grow, which hurts the fish and insects that live there. In your yard, these nutrients are beneficial since they fertilize plants you want to grow, like grass and garden vegetables.   When it rains, stormwater draws the nutrients out of the leaves similar to a…

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Naperville, IL 60565

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jhammer@theconservationfoundation.org

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