Tuesday August 16, 2016

Central Valley Business Journal –

The once plentiful population of rainbow trout in the Stanislaus River has declined by 75 percent from that of six years ago according to a study by fisheries consulting firm FISHBO communications.

The study, released Thursday, estimated about 5,000 trout remained in the river in 2015. The key reason for the decline is believed to be warmer river temperatures that resulted from the California drought.

As the group prepares to do this year’s survey, it expects to find even worse numbers. That is because trout numbers tend to decline a year after a hot summer. River temperatures were warmer in 2015 than in 2014.

The average daily water temperature in the Stanislaus River reached 69 degrees in August, 2015. That is higher than any summer temperature since 1998. The temperatures were due in large part to low water levels in the New Melones Reservoir upstream. The reservoir was at 12 percent of capacity in 2015 which was too low to remain cool.

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