Earlier this month, a report was released by FISHBIO showing a dramatic decline in rainbow trout populations in the Lower Stanislaus River. The culprit according to FISHBIO: temperature! We had a good winter season but the affects of five years of drought are going to be felt throughout our fisheries for some years to come.
An article last week in the Modesto Bee highlighted the report and the concerns that it raises. The report brings up some interesting questions about how best to manage the cold water pools of reservoirs to help protect populations of trout, steelhead and salmon.
It’s our belief that there needs to be an understanding of system-wide dynamics. While the drought is profound, decision makers need to be thinking about issues from headwaters to end users and base decisions on good science.