Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Hot Summer Ahead for Fish

As those of you in the Pacific NW know, this is supposed to be a hot summer, and combined with little snow pack, it looks to be very tough going for native fish on most streams in Oregon and Washington. Native Fish Society is encouraging ODFW to stop chinook harvest based on temperature rather than a harvest quota, which is an also outstanding idea. Ideally fishing would stop at over 70 degrees, which is probably an unrealistic goal, but a good place to start when negotiating. You might consider contacting your ODFW district bio and other contacts you have with ODFW suggesting they consider fishing stoppages based on water temperature. Another option is to allow fishing only in the morning or until noon. Last year, ODFW did put out a press release with some information regarding hot temperatures and recommendations to reduce mortality, so at least they have made a step in the right direction already.
Here are those suggestions for warm weather fishing.

•Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
•Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
•Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
•Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.

Remember that hooking and playing a trout or any salmonid in warm water temperatures is toxic even if you are going to release that fish.  Please Think about curtailing your fishing this summer for the sake of the fish.

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