Lately, southern Wyoming's North Platte River has been so low to the extent that a toddler could effortlessly walk across and thick mats of algae - olive-green in color- developing in the lazy current.

Trout stream
(Photo : Getty Images)

Drought and Heat Wave in Trout Streams

Over two years ago, workers piled sandbags in order to protect both homes and fishing cabins from intense brown floodwaters which were the highest ever recorded.

None of this scene looks like the proper photo of a well-known trout fishing destination where anglers smoothly move downstream in drift boats, throwing fly lures and hoping on catching large brown and rainbow trout in the Medicine Bow Mountains' shadow.

But torrent coupled with trickle has disrupted celebrated trout streams in American West in recent years during the climate change's havoc, which has made the temperature of the area hotter and drier, worsening severe weather events. Extreme heat waves and prolonged drought have increased the temperature of the water and injured fish species in several states.

The focus is on trout fishing in the Rocky Mountains, a major part of both the Americas' $1-billion-a-year fly fishing industry and the over $100-billion-a-year outdoor recreation industry in the region.

Also Read: Colorado River Drying Up Due to Climate Change

Hobo Pool 

 Tom Wiersema, a trout fanatic for close to half a century who has fished the upper North Platte as a guide said: "It seems the extremes are more extreme." 

Several years, Tom Wiersema has expressed the ability to put in and float a portion of the river around 16 kilometers (10 miles) north of the Colorado line throughout the summer.

This 2021, Wiersema hasn't disturbed himself to float that stretch since the ending of June, for the fear he has to pull a boat over wet rocks covered with algae.

He said: "That's what the river is at that point. Round, slippery bowling balls." 

In Saratoga closeby, a population of 1,600 leaping trout decorates light posts and the Town Hall's sign. The North Platte bubbled moving past a general hot spring referred to as the Hobo Pool, and trout fishing, together with the elk hunt during fall, are major businesses.

(Photo : Getty Images)

Effect of Hot Weather on Fishes in Low Water Bodies

Owner of Hack's Tackle & Outfitters on the river whose name is Phil McGrath said decreased flows haven't disturbed his guided fishing trips on drift boats business, which start from deeper water in town. Phil McGrath said the fishing has been very good.

"You want to go easy on the little guys in the afternoon," he encourages a recent group of buyers who inquired about a place they could wet a line prior to a guided trip the following morning.

The problem is that water exceeding 68 degrees - 20 C - can be hard on trout captured for sport and not dinner and freed to fight another day.

During hot weather, low water warms up easily, and warm water holds less oxygen, and this stresses the fish, making them have a lower chance to survive catch-and-release fishing, mostly when anglers don't free fish gently within several minutes.

Related Article: Mega-drought Drastically Affects Colorado River, Risking Water Shortage to 40 Million People

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