As we continue into the summer months, it is common to have lower water depths and higher water temperatures in our lakes and rivers. It is important to remember the stress that these types of environmental conditions can have on our fish and other wildlife.
Fish and other aquatic animals are subject to a variety of stressors and are highly dependent on the conditions of their surrounding environment. Low water levels and high temperatures can be very stressful for fish. Dissolved oxygen (DO) levels can become very low in warm water. Extremely low DO levels will create an environment that is not compatible with life for certain species that require more oxygen. Fish metabolic rates also increase during high water temperature periods, leaving fish with an inability to process increased levels of lactic acid and other toxins that build up during a fight after being hooked by an angler. Any additional stress on these fish results in a much higher mortality rate even while practicing proper catch and release techniques.
Considering this, we need to be mindful when out fishing during these stressful times. Part of being a responsible angler is knowing when to leave sensitive fish alone.