IMPORTANT: Many rivers and streams across the country are experiencing temporary closures as a result of high temperatures.
Please inquire locally at a fly shop or at your state’s online regulation resource.
As hot summer conditions across the West become the norm, it is important to be aware of the effects of water temperature on trout. For the next few weeks, anglers who care about the sustainability of our fisheries must incorporate knowledge of water temperatures into their daily routine, now more than ever before.
As water temperatures rise the amount of available dissolved oxygen decreases, which means trout become stressed much quicker than in normal conditions. Simply put, the warmer the water temperature the harder it is for fish to survive.
All species of trout are negatively affected when water temperatures reach 68 degrees F. Anything above 68 degrees F causes stress, and the act of fishing, especially hooking and fighting a fish, causes unnecessary stress, even death, to an otherwise healthy trout. With water temperatures above 68 degrees F, the feeding habits of trout decreases substantially. With the low levels of dissolved oxygen in warm water, trout are forced to conserve their energy simply to survive.
Above 70 degrees F fishing should cease, and many anglers cease fishing once water temperature hits 68 degrees F. It’s time to adopt a long-term view of maintaining healthy populations for future seasons.