Warmer Waters Threatening Idaho Trout
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — State environmental officials say warmer water temperatures recorded in northern Idaho streams and rivers are creating unhealthy conditions for trout. A recent analysis by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality shows that nearly 900 miles of streams in Kootenai and Shoshone counties are reaching temperatures up to 80 degrees in summer.
The optimal temperature for trout is 55 degrees or below. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports the biggest factor to the warming waters is excessive sun exposure and lack of tree cover. The DEQ is proposing a plan to lower water temperatures and help the region’s Westslope cutthroat trout population.
The strategy includes building more rock structures and logs to narrow and deepen channels. It also calls for increasing access fish have to cold-water channels and natural springs.