Anglers reminded: warmer air and water tough on trout

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – As air and water temperatures soar and river flows come down, anglers are reminded to practice smart trout fishing.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Green River fish management staff is very concerned about the impacts catch and release fishing may be having on local fisheries, especially the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

“Trout experience significant mortality at prolonged exposure to water temperatures greater than 75 degrees Fahrenheit and brief exposure to temperatures over 80 degrees are lethal,” Troy Laughlin Green River Fisheries Biologist said. “As water levels drop and water temperatures rise we are asking anglers fishing on the Green River to monitor water temperatures while fishing. Anglers should stop fishing when water temperatures reach over 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Fish handling mortality can be quite high when water temperatures get over 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if a fish swims away from an angler it does not mean it is going to survive.”

Laughlin says anglers can reduce impacts to fish by fishing early in the morning while water temperatures are cooler and carry a thermometer to monitor water temperature. If the temperature is at or above 70 degrees, reconsider your plans to catch and release trout in local rivers and streams. It’s a good idea to stop fishing for the day and give the fish a break.

Green River Fisheries Biologist John Walrath says fish survival in Flaming Gorge Reservoir is also concern as surface water temperatures are warming up.

“Catch and release mortality is a concern for all sport fish in Flaming Gorge Reservoir, especially kokanee,” Walrath said. “For kokanee, the death rate is higher because kokanee don’t handle well the stress of being caught and released, even when the water is cold. Survival of released kokanee plummets when surface water temperatures warm to above 65F. If you must catch and release kokanee never bring them into the boat.”

For more information about catch and releasing fish properly call the Green River Region Game and Fish Office at 307-875-3223. Anglers will find additional information at the Game and Fish website [email protected]

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