‘Radical Departure:’ Trout Fishing May Be Gone Forever In Upstate New York
Water browning and climate warming may eliminate a lot of fishing in Upstate New York.
A new study from Cornell University warns that climate warming and lake browning is "making the bottom of most lakes in the Adirondacks unlivable for cold water species such as trout, salmon and whitefish during the summer."
Climate Warming, Lake Browning Changing Fishing In Upstate New York
Lake browning is when organic matter from forests turns the water tea-brown. Increased browning is the "unfortunate legacy of a century of acid rain," officials note.
“After a few more decades of browning, most Adirondack lakes will become either too warm or too deoxygenated to support trout populations,” Peter McIntyre, the study's senior author. “This is a radical departure from the past when trout fisheries in numerous lakes were celebrated by locals and tourists alike.”
Most Adirondack Lakes Will Likely Become Unsuitable For Trout
According to officials the combo of lake browning and climate warming is making lakes unlivable for many fish during the summer.
“Moving forward, as browning and warming both continue, it becomes increasingly important to identify lakes that can be used to provide cold-water fishes with places where they can still thrive into the future,” Stephen Jade, the study's first author stated.
The study found that only about 5 percent of all Adirondack lakes may continue to maintain water that is cold and oxygenated enough to support cold-water species given current trends.
“It’s imperative that we protect the modest number of buffered lakes in the Adirondacks from species invasions, nutrient and salt pollution, and other forms of environmental degradation,” Peter McIntyre added.
During the study, Cornell researchers placed sensors in 15 Adirondack lakes, which measured dissolved oxygen and temperature throughout each lake’s water column.
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Gallery Credit: Will Phillips