Image creds: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Salt Lake City — With extreme drought conditions still impacting much of the state, many Utahns are making changes to reduce their water use. If you are planning some fishing trips to any lakes or reservoirs this summer, here are a few changes you can make to help the fish, as well.
How drought impacts fish species
Boy standing in grass, holding a caught rainbow trout
Drought impacts fish by reducing the amount of water available in lakes, reservoirs and streams throughout the state. These are primary habitats for Utah’s fish, and having less water affects fish in multiple ways.
“This smaller amount of water heats more quickly and warms to higher temperatures than when there isn’t a drought,” Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said. “Warmer water also holds less oxygen than colder water. The combination of high temperatures and low oxygen can stress fish, causing poor growth and disease. Fish can also die when temperatures are too warm or the oxygen levels get too low.”
Trout in low-elevation waterbodies have the greatest likelihood of being impacted by the drought this year, but low water levels and high water temperatures can affect all fish species.