Trout, salmon stressed by hot days, anglers warned
River management group installing sensors to monitor temperatures
A Morell River environmental group is trying out some new technology to help fishermen figure out if the water is too warm for fishing trout and salmon.
Rising temperatures in the river, on the North Shore of P.E.I., have been a problem for years. 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."
Those temperatures are bad news for salmon and trout. They gather in cooler pools of water, but remain stressed, and may not survive being caught and released.
"It's stressful to the fish at just the temperature," said McIsaac.
"To be caught and tried to be released at this point, there's a high mortality rate."
The co-op is asking anglers not to fish the river until water temperatures cool, and this summer the group is trying out some new technology 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.
"It collects information at various points, we'll put probes in the river at various points, and we'll collect that via satellite," said McIsaac.
"That will be uploaded to our computer and to a website and we can get real time temperatures every 30 minutes or so."
Rosanne MacFarlane, a freshwater fisheries biologist with the province, said the advice about warm water applies to all rivers in the province.
"If maybe people can just fish elsewhere, places that aren't quite so hot, when they notice that the water is warm," said MacFarlane.
River waters are not expected to start cooling off until mid-August.