|September 5, 2013
Anglers be on the lookout for stressed fish
POLSON Streams on the Reservation have experienced a relatively long period of 80 to 90 degree days this summer, and this stresses fish by raising the temperatures of area water bodies. Anglers need to be aware about how stressful these conditions are on fish if they are fishing on Tribal lands.
High stream temperatures co-occur with low flows, so fish are crowded in deeper, cooler habitats, leaving them stressed from competition, crowding, and predation by other fish and mammals. The physiological stress leaves them vulnerable to disease.
Warm stream temperatures also stress fish by increasing metabolic demands. Oxygen is less soluble in warm water, so oxygen levels are lower during warm conditions.
Optimal stream temperatures for trout are typically less than 60 degrees and for some species, such as bull trout, much lower. Stream temperatures above the mid 70s can be lethal to trout.
Anglers can help. Here are a couple of warm weather fishing tips:
Take a thermometer. Some streams just arent cooling down; if temperatures are high in the morning then it is probably not good to fish in that stream.
Fish in early morning hours; stream temperatures show large fluctuations in many streams, with the lowest temperatures occurring in early morning and then increasing again after about 10 am on hot days.
Do not play the fish to exhaustion.
Keep the fish in water as much as possible.
Think about fishing in higher elevation streams and lakes, where temperatures are less extreme.
For more information on fishing during warm weather contact Cindy Bras Benson or Germaine White at 883-2888.