Agencies scramble to help fish amid drought

Warm water, low levels, lead to high death rates for trout and salmon in the West.

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Warm water, low levels, are leading to high death rates for trout and salmon in the West.

A recent study by Wild Fish Conservancy revealed almost 75 percent of the 54 rivers in West Coast states had temperatures above 70 degrees.

The lethal conditions are a result of an historically-dry winter and record-breaking hot weather.

Oregon Climate Center Associate Director Kathie Dello says the entire West Coast saw record low snowpack last winter, leading to low rivers this summer. All three states had record high temperatures for June, with Oregon breaking the record by 3 degrees, and the three-month outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is for continued warmer and drier-than-normal weather made worse by the ocean-­warming condition known as El Niñ o, she added.

“This is the worst-case scenario playing out right now, a warm winter and then a warm and dry summer,” she said.

(SOURCE: Associated Press)

State fisheries biologist Rod French said a number of dead sockeye salmon discovered in the mouth of the Deschutes River suffered from gill rot disease, caused by the warm-water conditions, according to the AP.


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