Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Press: DEQ Warns 80 Degree Water Is Too Warm For Idaho Trout

Posted By on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Idaho's Department of Environmental Quality reports that nearly 900 miles of north Idaho streams are heating up as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that the elevated water temperatures in Kootenai and Shoshone counties are creating "potentially lethal environments for trout." Optimal water temperatures for cold-water trout are lower than 55 degrees in the spring.

The DEQ reports that the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River Sub Basin is the most affected by an abundance of late-winter sun and the lack of shade. And DEQ spokesperson Kajsa Stromberg told the Press that's "dangerous for cold-water trout like Westslope cutthroat trout, the most common fish of the streams."

"That's pretty warm even for people. So it's very warm for trout," said Stromberg. "Trout are very sensitive to warm water temperatures."

The Press reports that the DEQ is considering the introduction of more rock structures and logs to help narrrow the sub basin. Additionally, shoreline trees would be left alone, instead of harvested by the U.S. Forest Service.

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