Heat Stresses Fish, Too

These fish were caught earlier this year in the Big Horn Mountains.  Today, fish are stressed by warm, low waters. (Photo by Justin Davis)
These fish were caught earlier this year in the Big Horn Mountains. Today, fish are stressed by warm, low waters. (Photo by Justin Davis)

The dog days of summer are taking their toll on everyone and everything, to include the fish in our streams. Warm weather means less oxygen in the water, which equates to slower moving, more vulnerable fish. Warren Mischke, information specialist with the Game and Fish Department, reminds anglers who are going out to catch and release to fish with their survival in mind.

You can help a fish survive being caught by removing or bending down the barbs on hooks.

Other ways to help the fish make it through the ordeal include increasing the drag on the line to keep the fight as short as possible, keeping fingers out of the fishs' gills, and returning the fish to the water as soon as possible. Fish who don't swim away immediately may be revived if they are gently moved back and forth in the water for a few moments to get water back in their gills. Most importantly, Mischke encourages fishermen to fish in deeper, fast moving, cooler waters, which can be found in the mountains and reservoirs.

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