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Fishing for Climate Data: Salmon and Trout Habitat Forecasting

Posted date: May 09, 2018
Publication Year: 
Document type: Other Documents


Scientists at the Rocky Mountain Research Station’s Aquatic Sciences Lab compiled temperature records from more than a dozen natural resource agencies monitoring nearly 400 sites along large rivers in the northwestern United States to understand climate change impacts on salmon and trout river habitat. We found that average river temperatures during summer and early fall months rose about 1 °C over the 40-year period of 1976 to 2015. River managers may be able to offset warming in some areas and preserve coldwater river habitats by employing various habitat and flow restoration techniques including minimizing flow diversions, increasing shade, enhancing habitat diversity and the number of deep pools, releasing cold water from storage dams during heat waves, and improving fish passages at dams that block access to cooler river sections.