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High temperatures mean hot water so wildlife officials ask anglers to be aware of best practices

U.S. Forest Service
U.S. Forest Service

As Wyoming is seeing record temperatures, the Game and Fish Department is asking anglers to change their practices so as to not stress or exhaust fish.

Fish absorb dissolved oxygen through their gills to survive. But when water temperatures get to 65 degrees fahrenheit or more, there is much less dissolved oxygen.

"As you are reeling them in, they're fighting, right, they don't want to be reeled in," said Rene Schell, the Lander Wyoming Game and Fish information and education specialist. "So, they're using up a lot of their oxygen… we're pulling them up through the water column through water with less oxygen. And so they just get exhausted more easily."

She said if an angler releases an exhausted fish, they often can't move to get the oxygen back into their gills so they die. Schell added that anglers should carry a thermostat so they can deal with the fish differently if the water is at 65 degrees or above.

"So, reeling them in as quickly as possible to reduce stress and then netting them. So carrying a net, putting them in the net, keeping them in the net while you take off the hook and releasing them as soon as possible if you're going to catch and release," said Schell.

Schell said anglers should fish earlier or later in the day or go fish in higher elevations. Grand Teton National Park is asking anglers to stop fishing after 2 p.m.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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