Report Shows Climate Change is Affecting Fish in Wyoming

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(Courtesy Photo)
(Courtesy Photo)

The climate is changing faster than fish can swim. That's the bottom line in a new report from the National Wildlife Federation about how fish are impacted when their habitat changes. N-W-F climate scientist Dr. Amanda Staudt explains that snowfall timing has changed in Wyoming and throughout the West. Fish, especially cutthroat trout, depend on the timing for food, reproduction and avoidance of predators.

Most freshwater fish need cold waters to thrive. Staudt says warmer river and lake temperatures also invite competing species. Fisheries biologist Jack Williams at Trout Unlimited contributed to the report, which also offers solutions - several of which already are taking place in Wyoming.

The report connects healthy fish to healthy water – which is important for everyone – and describes fisheries as an important economic driver for Wyoming. Recommendations include cutting carbon emissions to slow the pace of warmer temperatures, habitat improvements and water conservation.

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