'Trout rafts' to help fish escape the heat in P.E.I.
Fish will be able to hide from predators under rafts attached to the bank in streams
Trout-lovers are using an unusual method to give trout a break from the heat in P.E.I.
High temperatures have scientists worried about fish in the ironically-named Winter River near Tracadie Bay.
Bruce Smith of the Winter River-Tracadie Bay Watershed Association says water temperatures up to 25C have sent trout from some ponds to cooler, faster-flowing streams.
But the streams are so shallow, the fish are more susceptible to predators like herons and raccoons.
So Smith and others are offering the fish some protection.
“What we're doing is building rafts that would be attached to the bank, they float on the surface and the fish will be able to hide underneath them,” said Smith.
“And then downstream from those sites we're putting cover logs that are submerged about six inches off the bottom so the fish can hide underneath.”
Smith says they've built about 25 of the rafts so far. They're also creating new spawning grounds to be used by trout and salmon.
'Almost a bathtub'
A Morell River environmental group is also trying out some new technology to help fishermen figure out if the water is too warm for fishing trout and salmon.
Dale McIsaac of the Morell River Management Co-op said temperatures in many parts of the river are well over 20C.
"Almost a bathtub," said McIsaac, "and our low overnight was only 20."
The co-op is asking anglers not to fish the river until water temperatures cool, and this summer the group is trying out new tools to help fishermen know when the water is too warm.
The co-op is installing probes in the river for a remote time data logger. They will collect the information via satellite and get temperature readings every 30 minutes or so.
River waters are not expected to start cooling off until mid-August.