Study looks at hybridization of trout in Northern Rocky Mountains
Global warming is intensifying the hybridization of native and non-native trout in the northern Rocky Mountains, according to a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey and other scientists. The trend is a serious threat to the biodiversity of Rocky Mountain aquatic ecosystems, says the study published in the journal Global Change Biology.
30-year study shows how warmer stream temperatures are linked with hybridization
FRISCO — Scientists studying trout in the northern Rockies say warmer stream temperatures and lower spring flows in mountain streams is increasing the pace at which introduced rainbow trout and native cutthroats interbreed. Hybridization has already contributed to the decline and extinction of many native fishes worldwide, including all subspecies of cutthroat trout in western North America.
Forest Service wants to reconnect an aquatic ecosystem that was sliced apart by dredges in the mining era
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — For all the gold Summit County’s old-timers managed to pull from local mountains and rivers, they left behind quite a mess. Along with toxic pollution oozing into rivers from some abandoned mines, other streams were turned completely inside-out, buried under tons of gravel.
SUMMIT COUNTY —A Kafka-esque federal probe of a polar biologist ended inconclusively this week, as biologist Charles Monnett got a mild slap on the wrist for an alleged breach of policy that was unrelated to the focus of the 2.5-year investigation.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Scientists with the UK’s University of Southampton say they may have documented another unanticipated global warming feedback loop, as sea surface temperatures in coastal regions appears to be rising up to 10 times faster than the global average. Continue reading “Summit Voice: Most-viewed and week in review”→
SUMMIT COUNTY — After some genetic sleuthing and intensive scrutiny of historic fish-stocking records, a team of federal, state and university biologists said they’ve pinned down Colorado’s greenback cutthroat trout to just a single population — about 750 fish, all living in a four-mile reach of Bear Creek, a small Arkansas River tributary in the mountains west of Colorado Springs.
Greenback cutthroats — the Colorado state fish — were originally native to the South Platte drainage, but now appear to survive only in that single population outside of the species’ native range.
Licenses for the 2012-2012 season on sale; state fishery experts warn against ‘bucket biology’
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Early spring weather might not be the best thing for skiers looking to extend the season, but it could be good news for Colorado anglers looking to get early access to high country lakes and streams.
And with the 2o12-2012 license year just a few weeks away, it could be a good time to make sure you’re ready by buying or renewing your license. The latest fishing brochure, with regulations and other info, is also available where licenses are sold and online at http://www.flipseekpubs.com/publication/?i=99616.
Habitat expected to shrink by 50 percent in coming decades
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — A combination of rising temperatures and changes in the timing of runoff and streamflows could reduce trout habitat in the western U.S. by about 50 percent during the next 70 years, with some populations disappearing completely within just a few decades.
The mechanisms for temperature-driven extirpations are complex, but the bottom line is that an ever-warming world isn’t going to leave much room for cold-blooded fish.
“They operate within a very narrow temperature range,” said U.S. Geological Survey biologist Andrew Todd. Variations in temperature can affect spawning, even if the temperatures don’t reach levels that are directly lethal to the fish, Todd said.
And the hydrology is also important, he explained. Even small changes in the amount and timing of precipitation can have a big impact on smaller headwaters streams. And unlike birds or mammals, trout don’t have the ability to move freely if conditions become unsuitable.