Wednesday December 28, 2022

Idaho Capital Sun

In September 2020, the Archie Creek fire near Roseburg, Oregon, burned all 5,000 acres of the Hinkle Creek watershed, home to rainbow, cutthroat and steelhead trout.

Oregon State University scientists who had been studying the fish for years figured the loss of tree cover would mean warmer stream temperatures that would stress, and ultimately kill, many of the fish.

Instead, the researchers found that by the end of the summer the following year, trout populations were not only unimpacted but had grown in some areas.

“The fish in this system proved to be quite resilient to these increased temperatures – at least within the range that we saw here,” lead researcher Dana Warren said in a news release.

Warren and three co-authors from OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the College of Forestry published the findings in the journal Ecosphere in September. The scientists suggest that this could bode well for the ability of trout species to survive the ongoing impacts of climate change, including more frequent and larger wildfires, and warmer water temperatures.

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