This week has been a hot one in the Pacific Northwest! And with extremely warm summer temperatures, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is asking anglers to take special care when catching and releasing fish.
“Fish mortality can increase drastically when water temperatures reach 74 degrees,” explained ODFW officials. “Since warm water does not hold as much oxygen as cooler water, fish are getting less oxygen while they are being caught, and take longer to recover once they are released.”
When fishing during prolonged periods of warm weather, ODFW is recommending the following practices to help minimize the negative impact on fish populations:
- Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
- Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
- Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
- Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
Additionally, ODFW suggests anglers concentrate on warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill, and crappie.
Be curteous this fishing season, and do your part to help maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems. Always carry proper fishing equipment and safety gear, and adhere to local regulations and statutes. For more information, visit your state’s department of fish and wildlife.