Saturday, December 2, 2023

Hot Fishing

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature, Wildlife, Global Warming, Global Climate Change, Global Change

Ed Hessler

An article in the Star Tribune on the effects of "weather vagaries tied to climate change" (increase of air temperatures and water temperature) on some game fish,  by Dennis Anderson suggests one of the many ways climate change might affect us in the future, even the near future. 

Anderson's essay, "Too hot to fish? We Could be There Now" Star Tibune, July 28, 2023, is protected by a subscription paywall but if you subscribe and missed it, your search engine will find it. A few of its important points follow with thanks to Dennis Anderson for his reporting on this important topic.

Hot fishing. as Anderson notes, now has two meanings. One is that fish are biting. A more recent one is to use it to describe times when "anglers should park their boats and hang up their rods until things cool down."

There is a choice on those days, both related to the angler's goal for the day: a few to take home to eat or to catch and release fishing.

Anderson notes that "muskies in warm water are susceptible to delayed mortality --dying after release. ... Walleyes often don't do well in hot weather, either. ...A DNR study of walleye hooking mortality  on Mille Lacs found no walleyes dies that were caught and released in May of the study period, when water temperatures were less than 68 degrees F. But in July and August, when water temperatures were above 68 degrees F, about 12% of released fish died." The effects of water depth on catch-and-release mortality (Rainy Lake) done by the DNR found that "at depths of 30 feet and more...walleyes were particularly susceptible to delayed mortality....(increasing with each 5 feet of depth beyond that point."

Anderson notes that fishing tournaments occur in summer and that according to DNR's Jon Hansen, could mean that  eventually "a review of tournament regulations might be necessary." 

Summertime and the livin' is not so easy for some fishes.
KARE 11 also did some recent reporting on climate change and fish kills.

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