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Minnesota lakes begin to turn over

Meteorologist Ben Dery explains what happens when our lakes start to turn over in the fall.

MINNEAPOLIS — We are reaching that time of year when we see our area lakes do something called "turnover." When turnover happens, cooler weather causes the lake temperature profile to basically flip, potentially presenting more difficulty in fishing for a while.

During the summer months, the warm sun heats up the lake and warmer, less dense water rises to the surface. You can tell this if you’ve ever jumped in a lake to find it gets really cold just a few feet down.

During the fall, temperatures drop, and the water at the surface becomes more dense and sinks. This causes the lake to mix. Higher concentrations of nutrients and oxygen spread throughout the lake, causing fish to also spread out, which makes it harder to locate them.

Ways you can tell the turnover has happened include measuring much colder water on the surface, observing a significant drop in water clarity, or noticing the lake has a different smell to it.

It can take a few weeks for fish to find their typical fall habitat, which usually makes for better fishing.

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