As summer hits its peak across the country, many anglers focus on fishing for trout. Trout are a cold water species. When long days and bright sunshine compact like they do in summer, 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 their trout fisheries must take into account the increasing water temperatures on the the nation’s trout streams.


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.

Still feeling fishy? Read about the species of trout that swam back from the brink of extinction.
Head over to Trout Unlimited to learn more about conserving cold water fisheries.