Monday, August 15, 2011

Trout Fishing in America? – Not So Much

Prospects not good for Western trout.

Climate change, by warming rivers and streams and changing patterns of flooding, will negatively impact four trout species in the western United States, according to a major study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

By 2080 Rainbow trout, the toughest and most resilient of the four species studied, will still decline in a major way because of changes in stream temperature, losing something like 35% in the size of their habitat. 

Brown trout and Brook trout spawn in the fall, and climate change is expect to intensify winter flooding which would endanger eggs laid then.  Streams experiencing such flooding would become unsuitable spawning grounds for these fish. 

The habitat of Brown trout is expected to decline by 48%, Brook trout by a gigantic 77%!

Cutthroat trout, a species native to the western United States, have already lost 85% of their range due to competition from introduced species.  By 2080 warming waters and increased competition from mainly Rainbow trout, will shrink their habitat a further 58%.

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