Warm water translates to lower oxygen levels, a crucial consideration for freshwater anglers. During the summer, trout anglers face the challenge of rising water temperatures, often prompting them to fish early in the day or in the cooler evenings. This July, an incident emphasized the significance of this issue, particularly in Nova Scotia with Atlantic Salmon on the Wrights River.
The well-being of these fish depends on various factors, including water flows and the time of the season. A recent study in Nova Scotia sheds light on the potential benefits of cooling down rivers to safeguard fish populations in the face of climate change.
While both trout and salmon can endure higher temperatures for brief periods, their survival rates decline when water temperatures exceed 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), especially when accompanied by reduced water flows, mishandling, and pulling them out of the water for an extended period of time.
Earlier this summer along Nova Scotia’s Wrights River, an area known for significant sun exposure, decreased water flows and exceptionally high temperatures compelled Atlantic salmon to seek deeper waters, find shaded spots, and avoid direct sunlight. Just like humans, these fish exhibit their own version of “air conditioning” by seeking relief from the heat.
Well, one area on the Wrights River had a sign of relief for the salmon. It was created by humans, “pumping cold water from a nearby well into the overheated stream. Cold-loving fish, like Atlantic salmon, flocked into this stretch or water in droves,” said Time Magazine’s Alejandro De La Garza.
Researchers designed the configuration as a component of an experiment aimed at evaluating a potential solution to assist Atlantic salmon in coping with the challenges of elevated water temperatures brought about by climate change. Freshwater rivers and streams, such as the Wrights, play a pivotal role in sustaining salmon populations. These waterways serve as the primary environment where young Atlantic salmon undergo their early life stages before embarking on their journey to the ocean. Additionally, they serve as the crucial sites where adult salmon return to spawn.
The concept underlying the experiments conducted this past summer, unveiled during a meeting of the Geological Society of America on October 17, revolves around the exploration of the potential for establishing artificial thermal sanctuaries along riverbanks, aimed at enhancing the survival of Atlantic salmon. The research has not yet been published.
Be sure to check out the full-article from Time Magazine and Alejandro De La Garza by clicking here. Stay tuned to see the full study.