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Climate threatens trout and salmon
Date:5/17/2010

ment Agency at more than 50 locations spread throughout the Wye. Stream temperatures increased over the study period by 0.5 0.7C in summer and 0.7 - 1.0C in winter, with the latter effects apparently affecting the fish at low flow. Water temperature is known to affect growth and susceptibility to disease in these fish, while lower water levels restrict their access to cooler habitats.

Peter Gough, fisheries scientist with Environment Agency Wales, added: "We recognise that climate warming is probably already affecting many elements of our natural environment, including salmon, trout and sea trout, and this detailed analysis of our long-term data is extremely interesting and, if proven correct, would be of great concern. We are currently examining these and other data further. There is a suggestion that earlier migration to sea of salmon smolts might account for at least part of the apparent decline, but this doesn't explain the reduction in trout numbers. More work is needed to clarify some important issues."

The comparison between trout and salmon is important because, unlike salmon, trout from the Wye never migrate to the sea. Only factors affecting the river can therefore explain their decline.

A paper on the findings has been published in one of the world's leading environmental journals, Global Change Biology.


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Contact: Professor Steve Ormerod
Ormerod@cardiff.ac.uk
44-292-087-5871
Cardiff University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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