Much warmer summer water, the result of climate change, is threatening some of the top trout streams in the western United States – and the North Platte River in southern Wyoming is among them.
After two dry summers in a row, the North Platte is flowing low, slow and warm — not great conditions for both trout fishing and the fish themselves.
Warm water, especially, can be hard on trout because it carries less oxygen – threatening their overall survival and. Trout that are caught and released in warm water tend to have a lower survival rate than those in cool or cold water.
Despite the dry summers, extreme flooding has also been a problem in recent years on the North Platte and other rivers in the Rocky Mountains. Retired fishing guide Tom Wiersema says he’s seen the extremes and thinks climate change is at work.