Claim: For trout fishermen, climate change will mean more driving time, less angling

Looks like a hilarious positive feedback loop, more driving, more emissions, less trout, more driving…

This is an eastern brook trout. CREDIT: Penn State

This is an eastern brook trout. CREDIT: Penn State


When trying to explain the potential effects of climate change on plants, fish and wildlife, scientists usually resort to language that fails to convey the impact of warming. Now, a study by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences fisheries researchers clearly explains the impact of projected warming waters on wild brook trout in the eastern U.S. for fishermen.

The eastern brook trout is a socially and economically important fish that occurs in small cold water streams and lakes, and self-sustaining populations support angling throughout the Appalachian Mountains, from Maine to Georgia. However, warming air temperatures are expected to reduce available cold-water habitat and result in a smaller brook trout distribution and fewer angling opportunities.

Building on recent research at Penn State, Tyler Wagner, adjunct professor of fisheries and Tyrell DeWeber, now a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University, used two models they previously developed, one predicting stream temperature and one predicting where brook trout might occur, to identify streams likely to support wild brook trout under current and future climate scenarios.

The researchers then calculated the distance required to drive from the centers of 23 cities spread throughout the eastern brook trout range to the 10 nearest stream segments likely to have wild brook trout under current and future conditions. They published their study in a recent issue of Fisheries.

“Climate change is expected to result in widespread changes in species distributions for freshwater fish species. Although anglers and other resource users could be greatly affected by these predicted changes, changes are rarely reported in ways that can be easily understood by the general public,” said Wagner, who is assistant unit leader of the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State.

The effects of climate change on fish and wildlife are usually reported to the general public using summary metrics or maps designed to communicate concepts that are not normally encountered in everyday life, including changes in habitat suitability, range shifts, or increasing risks from disease or extreme events, according to Wagner. “Though these metrics are necessary, meaningful, and understood by scientists, many people lack the necessary training and background to readily understand them.”

“Further, scientists and nonscientists alike may struggle to convert these metrics into a currency that directly affects day-to-day life. Climate science is a complex issue, and when we communicate potential responses of vegetation, fish and wildlife to nonscientists, creative thinking with respect to the currency of communication will facilitate discussions between scientists, policy makers and the public.”

DeWeber, who was a doctoral student at Penn State when the research was conducted, noted that travel costs based on distance have been widely used to value ecosystem services such as angling under climate-change scenarios, but have not been used for communicating potential changes to the public, despite the intrinsic link to everyday life.

“Under current conditions, brook trout are predicted to occur in streams throughout the region, and average driving distances from cities to the nearest streams predicted to offer angling opportunities ranged from 4 to 87 miles. As a result of projected warming, driving distance to go fishing for wild brook trout was predicted to increase, on average, by almost 164 miles over the next 70 to 80 years.”

For example, the driving route from Philadelphia to the nearest brook trout stream was predicted to cover 249 miles in a warmer future, much longer than the current 48 miles.

The lengths of trips from many northern cities, such as Bangor, Maine, were predicted to increase but were still relatively short in the future because nearby streams were still predicted to support brook trout under warmer conditions.

In contrast, anglers in southern cities, such as Cleveland, Tennessee, would experience dramatic increases in the lengths of trips because brook trout are predicted to be lost in surrounding areas.

Although anglers tend to be very dedicated, DeWeber pointed out, it is unlikely that many would drive great distances to fish very often due to cost, especially if those last remaining streams become popular and crowded. He believes that losses of wild brook trout populations and increased trip lengths would likely result in reduced resource use in many areas.

But he suggested that people are unlikely to be concerned about the potential effects of warming if they do not understand what may be coming. “Communicating species responses to climate change in everyday language could greatly increase the ability of resource users and other members of the general public to understand and relate to predicted changes,” he said. “A clear understanding of potential changes might not lead to greater societal concern about species’ responses, but it may enable people to make informed decisions.”


The U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Change and the Wildlife Science Center supported this research.

127 thoughts on “Claim: For trout fishermen, climate change will mean more driving time, less angling

  1. So is the new claim that fly-fishermen are an endangered species? (Because they are endangering themselves, of course.)

    • Runaway populations of invasive Asian Carp are bespoiling many of our nation’s waterways. There are far greater threats to native fish populations than speculative claims of temperature increases measured in 100’ths of a degree. Let them fish for Asian Carp.

    • Well they have it exactically backwards.
      More drought usually means less rain, we prefer our droughts to be drier.
      So less rain means river levels run lower, and the trout can’t get as far upstream to spawn in the gravel beds. And upstream is quite often at a higher altitude than downstream, which arrangement works best for water flow.
      There are not a lot of mountains that you can drive directly into at the summit and go downhill from there, so that means you won’t have to drive as far uphill to get to the spawning waters that will often hold fish.
      Come to think of it, we haven’t been able to run our boat up the river to the waterfall at Lake Nacimiento, for quite a few years. What waterfall ? There hasn’t been any Nacimiento river waterfall to get to for years.
      It used to be an 18 mile boat ride from the launch ramp to the waterfall, now its more like a 12 mile ride until you run aground on the sandy bottom.
      So total BS on the longer drive for drier fish.

  2. This has to be an article from The Onion. If it is not, then it is most stupid thing I have ever read.

  3. The good news is: Climate Change helps increase business for gas stations & tyre-replacement shops who’ll sell more of their products to anglers.

    • That’s funny.
      30 years ago our crew of fishermen, fishing on inland lakes, would rush out to the nearest lake and start fishing at maybe 7-8:00 and fish till dark (even after drinking till 2:00 the night before ).
      Nowadays it’s more like fish from 10:00 till noon, then drink till 2:00
      I’m sure the fish appreciate the lack of commitment 🙂

  4. Vary fishy. By what mechanism do stream waters increase T? Are they proposing lowered water levels? Increased stream bed temperastures where water flows over say, hot rocks?

  5. Wow… these guys are so full of shit…
    Loads of conclusions from Academics who never leave the computer Lab…. don’t know shit about temperatures, ecology… or the environment…
    WHY do we fund this crap ??

  6. warming?….what warming?
    Kids won’t know what brook trout are…….
    I”m sure there were a lot of trout under that glacier in Maine.

    • Latitude — Kids won’t know what brook trout are — got to love it — Eugene WR Gallun

  7. Let me think: more time driving or impoverish the economy forever, hmm hmm…
    Forget it, I can’t decide.

  8. Tell em they can come to Wallowa County, capture all the non-native (introduced) brook trout they want, and ship em the hell out of our rainbow, salmon, and steelhead trout streams. They fight like crazy to eat whatever is in the stream, outperforming more docile (lazy?) rainbow trout. They can also swim faster than steelhead and devour salmon eggs nearly without pause to unbutton their trousers or take a food-coma nap!
    Then whoever has a voice that can be heard, tell the Indian Tribes and EPA that closing off irrigation ditches with fish screens and preventing the ditches from running year round by putting head gates on them that close off the river flow to the ditches, has resulted in increased river bed crowding thus depredation in the main channel (which is NOT normal), as well as decreased gravel beds that WERE available in ditches away from hungry predators.
    Stupid is as stupid does. Before all those regulations hit our county, we could flip salmon out of our ditches with shovels while engaged in the yearly chore of repairing the ditch channel.
    PS: They are a halluvalotofun to catch, keeping your fishing pole jumpin and jivin while they take great leaps out of the water. I have caught them simply by using a smelly worm-juice smeared hook I had just taken out of a rainbow’s mouth. The hint you have caught a brook? You think you have a monster on the line only to reel in a throw-back 6 incher.

    • I have a picture of my Mon with a 5 lb smallmouth bass in one hand and her rod with the line wrapped around her hand in the other. The reel had come off the rod after she hooked it. She landed it anyway.
      If I was as good a fisherman as she was, maybe I’d go fishing more often.

    • Could we also exterminate all the starlings, rock pigeons and Eurasian collared-doves while we’re at it?

    • Pamela Gray, I’ve always enjoyed your posts. Now I know I’d like to meet you and go fishing too 🙂 Best, Laurie

      • I haven’t been fishing this summer. Recovering from a broken foot. I have missed the zen of fishing very much.

  9. Maybe trout fishermen should switch to bass? Problem solved.
    [Too much treble and violens to switch to bass. .mod]

  10. So what fish will take their place in the local areas? Also I didn’t see any info on how much more pollution will be caused by the increased driving. Then the EPA will have to ban trout fishing to protect us from the pollution!

  11. Well, a couple of thoughts.
    First, we up here in northern Vermont simply don’t want the flatlanders driving up for our brook trout, so this is excellent news that they will waste away in their apartments in Boston and Hartford, their AC units cooling by wind turbine watts, bank accounts diminished by “ruinables” and convinced of this sad spray from Penn State and we’ll have the lovely speckled sides all to ourselves. We had no idea that Global Warming might be good for banishing the tourists, but thanks. Perhaps this is the true purpose of the messaging from State College, PA – excellent trout habitat very close by, but move on, nothing to see here.
    Second, I drove 9500 miles last summer in my wood burning Tacoma towing a little camper to wander around and fish the rivers in and out of Yellowstone. (dedicated fishers do not care how far they must go or the price of gas we convert to plant food) In Yellowstone, park service employees were very busy mouthing the warming meme to the millions of visitors and I used to take great joy walking through those parties in my waders, rod held to the side, and hike down to the streams to dance with the trout. Along the Firehole, I played with trout within sight and sound of employees and visitor groups discussions of climate catastrophes. I’d yell up to them, “it’s worse than we thought right here, look” line screaming from the reel …

    • LOL! Yep. Price of tackle, license, gas, food, drink, bags to freeze the fish in, smoking equipment, etc…

      • I actually prefer fishing for the winter run Steelies on the east side of your state, but hey, kids, jobs … oh, I’m retired now. I’ve heard tales of flipping salmon.

  12. “The researchers then calculated the distance required to drive from the centers of 23 cities spread throughout the eastern brook trout range to the 10 nearest stream segments likely to have wild brook trout under current and future conditions.”
    Well they forgot NB,NS,PEI, NFLD/LAB,QC. Climate change only happens in the US? No shortage of brookies anywhere “up” here. And Pamela nailed nailed it. The little brook buggers fight like h*ll, only to be too small to keep. Me? I prefer the muskie or 35 pound laker. :):).

    • only to be too small to keep
      HA, nothing could be finer tasting than a frying pan full of 5” to 6” native Brookies that were caught out of a narrow mountain stream that was only half (1/2) as wide as the length of your Fly Rod.
      Those “mountain” Brookies don’t grow longer (length) each year, ….. they grow thicker (fatter). “Fat n’ sassy fighters” …. and “tricky” to catch, ….. they are for a fact.

      • My grandpa was of the same mind. He preferred a pan full of brookies over rainbow every Catholic Friday. He was of the firm belief they tasted better and had a more cohesive flesh.
        I too have fished narrow but well-gouged streams (IE wider at the bottom than at the overgrown, shaded top). Hard stream to fish in as your hook gets blown about in the fast running water and gets caught on vegetation.
        While invasive in NE Oregon, I find them very pretty and fascinating to watch. I have spent countless hours watching brookies stalk grasshoppers as the hopper jumps from blade of grass to blade of grass along the edge and above the water line. Once the brook gets a clear shot, they will jump out of the water onto the grassy edge as they gulp down the hopper then flip themselves back into the water. Yes they get fatter, not longer, but the flesh is “meatier” due to their being so active, as opposed to the more mushy flesh of a fat rainbow who is quite lazy compared to a brook trout. Big rainbows stake out good holes and sit. Brookies, no matter how big, actively hunt and stalk.

  13. The additional 2 commandments:
    11. Thou shalt not close forest roads.
    12. Thou shalt not ban fishing.

  14. “…The eastern brook trout is a socially and economically important fish…”
    Socially important fish? Wtf?
    “…that occurs in small cold water streams and lakes…”
    It “occurs?” Like an event or chemical reaction? Spontaneous generation?
    Who writes this garbage?

    • Michael Jankowski
      Good spot.
      Who writes this garbage? Dimwits trying to appear intellectually sophisticated.
      Eugene WR Gallun

  15. ”including changes in habitat suitability, range shifts, or increasing risks from disease or extreme events, according to Wagner. “Though these metrics are necessary, meaningful, and understood by scientists, many people lack the necessary training and background to readily understand them.”
    The hubris would choke a crocodile! Yes the average Joe is a dummy so we have to explain that the higher up the mountain you go, the cooler it gets. This was the same thinking of Professor Gruber who designed Obamacare and opined that voters could be fooled to go for it because they are too stupid to understand it. Two eighth rate professors – a ‘Penn’ aggie ‘scientist’ and a whatever social schlock ‘expert’ the MIT Obamacare guy is, revealing how venal, vile, cynical as well as stupid they are.
    A superiority complex is the worst and most intractable form of the inferiority complex. Our famous stick handler, also from the ‘Penn’, would seem also to be so stricken. Cleaning up tottering science and academia will become the biggest task faced by humankind. Working back into the early education system will have to go hand in hand with it.

  16. I thought available cold water habitat is largely a function of spring fed streams, so global warming will impact source water that’s typically 160 feet or more below the surface, wow, this CO2 is powerful stuff

    • Or artesian fed streams from higher elevations that are typically 50 to 150+- miles farther away.

  17. One of these poor chaps in now at Oregon State…the western US and parts of Oregon being areas where the eastern brook trout were introduced and are an invasive species that has reduced the numbers of native fish and trout. Ditto for where they’ve been introduced in Europe.

    • Well both Rainbow trout (actually California Russian River steelhead) and German Brown Trout, are introduced trash fish in New Zealand rivers and lakes, so now it is darned hard to find a good NZ river eel to catch any more.
      People should leave well enough alone.

      • Not forgetting that those same trout are invasive trout in North America.
        The rainbow trout is invasive, well almost anywhere outside of the Sierras. Even in the Sierra’s, it is believed that the Native Americans using baskets helped the fish expand their geographic range.
        The brown trout is invasive anywhere it is found in North America. Darn little/big buggers…

  18. I am used to posting stuff on this site along the lines of “does anyone who has lived in Britain over recent decades recognise any of this drivel”. On this occasion, however, I am driven to write “has anyone who has ever fished for wild salmonids recognise any if this drivel”? Yes, trout and char are cold water fish – but not to the point of not coping with temperature rises of the odd degree or two from a cold base line – EVEN IF SUCH CHANGES WERE HAPPENING (which they are not). In fact, a small rise in winter temperature would very probably increase annual feeding opportunity and lead to less time lying torpid in freeze-induced quasi-hibernation. In short, global warming might actually improve the fishing by increasing the health of the fish.
    Either way, the article and research is just utter twaddle.

      • Long time no read ratty. Get stuck under your rock?
        Anywhere that is deep enough to have thermoclines has water temperatures for healthy trout.
        Any where that water borders the earth, as most of it does, has water at the right temperatures for trout.
        All the trout need extra is sufficient food, aeration and water movement.

      • You said it Rattus “60F”. That is way over the normal water temperature for natural (not stocked) salmonid habitat, even in the height of summer. Yes, if water temperature reached 60F (as it does in smaller south east England stocked lakes each summer) the trout can become distressed, so they seek shade and cooler depths. Pushed further, they become torpid in much the same way as they do in winter for the opposite reason, ready to spark into life again when water conditions become more amenable, as they inevitably do. In general, unlses there are other complicating factors, they don’t die, just slow down so are useless for fishing for a period.
        The critical point is that salmonids are well used to coping with significant swings in temperature in the course of each and every year – swings that are orders of magnitude greater than the potential effect on water temperatues from any forecast global warming. The original “research” remains total, utter nonsense put together by people who clearly have limited understanding of the totality of the environments they are talking about.

  19. I wonder when they will realize that the more they publish this drivel the lower their credibility with the public. When they bombard the public through the MSM every day with a trivial issue the less they get listened to..
    My concern is how much taxpayer money was wasted on this study and who approved the foolish expenditure. They should be fired.

    • Well in figuring whether one is likely to get struck by lightning, or not it is common to model the human body as a hemispherical boss on a conducting plane.
      So spherical cows ??
      Very likely, I would say !

      • george e. smith
        In my whole life I have never heard about a cow being struck by lightning. That could be important.
        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Just as well with all that methane the explosion (and mess) would be huge.
        But on the up side ready cooked steak.
        James Bull

      • Eugene,
        Lots of cows in england indirectly struck by lightning every year, fatalities can occur where the cow is standing radialy from the point of the strike and within a given distance from the point of strike. If the cow is standing tangentially to the point of strike its generally not fatal due to the potential difference between the nearest legs and furthest legs from point of strike as the resulting current flow radiates from/to point of strike whether its a strike in the middle of a field or from a pole.
        Not uncommon to see a cow zapped of life right next to a untouched cow, due to the leg aligment.
        there`s data out there detailing it in detail
        from cow country in deepest Devon

  20. Another item I note that while I am not a fresh water fisherman, I do watch from my office window the stocking of the local river in the early spring when of course the water is cool and shortly thereafter fishermen line the banks of the river. I would hope that the fishing commission are smart enough the know when the water temperature is optimum to stock the river. Did the Penn State guys think about that?

  21. If the brook trout is such an endangered species then why is it the PA Fish & Boat Commission never raises or stocks them? Its because they are only native to spring fed steams and those are small streams, accessible to only the die hard fisher guys and girls. Only Brown and Rainbow are raised and stocked because they are more resilient to tempered waters which are more accessible to most PA fisherman and the waters that are stocked. Once in a while they stock an occasional cutthroat trout— not an indigenous species to Pennsylvania.
    Who ever suggested this study should be fired.

    • 58 years ago, I caught my first brook trout in the dead of summer from a tiny stream running through a meadow. I have pictures. The pool was probably 3 feet deep at the upper end and 6″ at the other end. When the waters are low and the weather is warm, trout go to the deepest part of a pool or an overhang of embankment or boulder. These are also good blinds when they are hunting, (not feeding… they hunt their meals). Over the years, I fished these streams in summer and winter. They did well under ice (smaller servings of bait, please) and on hot summer days (early morning or dusk, please). Wild trout are hearty. Brook trout have more “slime” over their scales in warmer water. It’s protective. I used to get a laugh when campers in the camp ground, who made comments as I passed with my rod in the morning, would be so surprised that the little creek would have such nice fish in it. Hot years, cold years… the brook trout remained. Here are the real dangers to trout: Oxygen sucking algae blooms mostly from nitrogen run offs from cattle grazing and developers, (but trout move upstream to escape), fish kills to remove better adapted and predatory fish, such as the brown trout, in order to save the native golden trout in CA, who get Xs for eyes as soon as a fisherman approaches the bank, diseases from hatcheries such as whirling disease in CO, heavy equipment damage from logging, (although the fish recover quickly) and catch and release anglers. (My wildlife biologist friends tell me that 60% of fish die after being released.) Another problem for trout plants: STUPID people who plant trout from a 60 degree container into a 70 degree lake or river. Even a small child will learn this will shock a fish and kill it. I’ve seen thousands of fish poured into the lake downstream from my CA home on the river, only to immediately go belly up. As for the fans of artificial lures and flies, what an unfair situation for the fish. Why not offer something good for the fish to eat? I like grubs and crickets earlier in the year and cheese or worms later. Use a barbless hook. This way, if the fish gets away, he gets a meal. If he doesn’t, you get a meal. Don’t like to eat trout? Why the *&)^* do you fish? Call me “die hard fisher girl who loves her heart healthy trout.”

  22. Dear Ty and Ty: Thank you for dumbing down the results of your fish study so that I could understand it. I was getting confused right at the outset when you started using words like “model”. I couldn’t figure out the connection with the fashion industry, but you cleared things up quite nicely for me and I presume for most of the scientifically illiterate unwashed masses.

  23. This isn’t conjecture. I live in the heart of some of the best trout fishing in the US and we have started to have stream closures (“hoot own” closures) in the afternoons on streams in these parts every summer. This has not been the case in the past. It is a fact of trout biology that they get stressed when water temps get much above 60F and that being subject to the stress of being caught (and released, of course) is bad for their mortality. So even here in the heart of trout country warmer streams mean a drive up into the mountains to the headwaters if you want to fish after work.

    • A deceptive statement indeed. I’ve lived and fished in Montana for over 30 years. Low flows and warm summer water temperatures are no stranger to our streams and rivers. Summertime restrictions and closures that “have not been the case in the past”, are more a function of an unprecedented increase in angling pressure in recent years than anything else.

    • Just how many of these stream closures are around? Just one ratty?
      And was that the ‘sole’ reason for closing the waters, or were the local eco-devout so devout that they closed the streams because of belief?

  24. Some of the best trout fishing can be found from cold water releases below dams (e.g., San Juan River below the Navajo Dam). So as a simple solution: more dams. But then, these predictions discussed in this article are based on climate models that can’t replicate the pause, so no apparent need to worry.

  25. The lengths of trips from many northern cities, such as Bangor, Maine, were predicted to increase
    penobscot river (brook trout and landlocked slamon) runs right between bangor and brewer maine (it literally is the boundary) and is only a 10-15 minute drive from anywhere in bangor/brewer to the river.
    I’m about 30 minutes away (at 85 mph) but the river is not going to veer direction and change distance.
    there are a ton of fresh water lakes, ponds and streams here too.

    • Great reference! +10. An apocalyptic movie about the past end of the world scare to illustrate just how little changes in the promotion of apocalyptic claptrap.

      • For some reason (I saw this in a theater when it came out) I remembered the trout fishing scene. I trout fished in north central PA for many years. Sometimes on opening day on Kettle creek it was almost as crowded as the scene in this movie…I wonder what the stream temps are now compared to 1960s-70s…

  26. I guess the message is, GO NORTH if you believe this Caribbean Research Atoll Project (Acronym is – you can figure it out)

  27. Penn State academics should be ashamed of themselves, but they are not. This is a pernicious and destructive illness that pervades all academia.

  28. Looks like the trout are mostly limited by that acidifing sea water….Georgia must be as cold as Maine…/sarc … Who knew ?

  29. So let’s get this straight…
    The temperature rises worldwide and CO2 follows, worldwide.
    So the CO2 causes glacier retreat because they retreated worldwide.
    The lunatics run the nuthouse.
    And BTW: whoever thought that with over 6 bil people on the planet, we can all go out living the lifestyles of hunter-gatherers? That’s fantasy land stuff all by itself.

    • Well, no. They want to keep a few peons to do the hunting/gathering for them and get rid of the rest of us.

  30. I don’t have time to make a reasonable response at this time. In Virginia the DGIF (Department of Game and Inland Fisheries) and their Virginia Wildlife Magazine are rife with CAGW. The editor of the Virginia Wildlife Magazine , Sally Fields, supports and publishes any CAGW articles sent in by a very few contributors. I stopped my subscription years ago after probably 35 – 40 years. I would be glad to list the authors of the articles. It’s much worse that you thought.
    I was catching more trout than I ever caught while the VWM pitched a loss of trout.
    I no longer have a subscription after 30+ years. I am trying to no longer support the DGIF while she is on board.
    Not much I can do but I’m doing all I can. She’s got more holes than Hillery. A once great organization driven into the mud. Very sad

    • Subscribe to Wisconsin DNR. Bi monthly. Lots of good stuff about waterfowl, turkey, deer, bear, and such (fish). No CAGW. I own a fairly large farm in SW Wisconsin where all that stuff has been personally proofed out. After about 30 years of experience, WDNR is about right. (On most stuff, not all–I favor wolfs, they do not. I favor trapping coons to facilitate ruffed grouse, they do not…). Beats the ‘hey’ out of anything else. Whether you are for or against wolves and raccoons.
      BTW all, the most exciting thing on my farm two years ago was a wolf family (probably just coy wolves, essay No Bodies) that set up for a summer/fall in one of my pastures. Got many trail pics.
      And, in the deeper woods trails, trail cams also got a family of lynx going down my logging roads. Man, my efforts to restore the farm’s natural wilderness zones are paying some dividends. I will (ineptly) endeavor to somehow eventually attach the lynx family trail photos here.

    • I need to correct an error in my above comment. The editor of the Virginia Wildlife magazine is Sally Mills (not Sally Fields).

  31. Tout Fishing is too hard as it is. So of course people might as well make it harder and try to catch one on a fly rod. I don’t know if trout fishing was ever actually about catching trout. i will stick to my ocean fishing.

    • Charlie, trout fly fishing is the ultimate sublime. Been doing it since a small kid, including tying own flies (heck could not afford it otherwise then). Seconded only to fly fishing small mouth bass tail walkers in larger streams/ lakes like in northern NE and Southern Canada. You salt water guys just do not know what true heavenly fishing is… not pounds per fish, just fight per ounce… (aw, OK, I now live on the FLL ocean and reef fish there too… but maintain my lifelong cold freshwater bias.)
      Regards to any and all true fishermen. Willis, that means to you, too.

      • Fishing is sublime.
        Trout are just one of the diversionary streams of fishing. I like trout fishing because fishing for them involves shade and cool air.
        I learned to fly fish in Pennsylvania, therefore I thought overhead casting was just for distance. (Tree crowded streams cause most Pennsylvania fly fishers to learn to cast sideways to keep the fly out of branches.)
        Gulf of Mexico fishing is wonderful, but one must be hot and sweaty while fishing the Gulf. That and determined to get beaten up by frequent thunderstorms. It is amazing how a storm forms overhead from previously clear air into a towering lightning emitter within a few minutes. One also quickly realizes just how small one’s boat is at the same time.
        But the fishing is amazing; tuna, Spanish mackerel, bonita, king mackerel, red drum, flounder, snapper, amberjack, dolphin fish, speckled trout, cobia, etc…
        The speckled trout common to Gulf of Mexico is also found along the Atlantic coast up to about Maryland; prefers warmer temperature. Named because of a passing resemblance to salmonids, speckled trout are actually a member of the weakfish (Cynoscion nebulosus) family an extension of the extensive drum family.
        Speckled trout respond to fly fishing, even dry fly fishing. If one wants cool air, al one has to do is go speckled trout fishing during winter time; though very cold fronts cause speckled trout to go dormant. Extremely cold fronts can cause significant fish kills setting local fish populations back for years.
        I like fishing for many different types of fish almost anywhere there is water. I’ve yet to see man made CO2 cause any problems to any of the fish or aquatic critters.

      • Bait casting methods (with a bait reel, not a baled reel) is the only way to go on complicated tree and brush-lined mountain streams. If the best hole is across the river with an overhang and you can’t get to it by crossing the river, you have to use a bait casting method to get your baited hook anywhere near that hole. A fly reel will catch trees, not fish, and a baled reel tends to snap your cast back at you when it hits the end of the line as you flip the bale back. Bait casting is the only way to go.
        That said, one of these days I would like to learn how to fly fish.

      • Pamela:
        Accurate casting is best at all times.
        Oddly, the seemingly clumsy fly rod is more accurate for many situations than bait or spinning rods. To insure pin point under cover accuracy with both bait and spin requires a fast rifle like cast as any arcing cast can only reach into the edges of cover.
        Fly fishing, the line provides the required weight that flexes the rod. Using the rod to send the fly line loop that powers the fly and line allows a sidewise cast that literally casts the fly easily deep under branches yet lands it softly.
        In small tight brushy cover with minimal rod room (forget casting), a fly rod allows a bow shot where the fisherperson aims and shoots the fly much like a person shoots a sling shot or bow and arrow.
        Spinning rods are almost as good at this cast, but fast tapers make bending the rod risky for fingers and their large guides love getting hung up on braches. Plus their annoying method of ballooning line off of the spool increased chances of brush interaction.
        Spin and bait casters often have to play the swing and drop method of casting. Easy to try, hard to master and noisy as all get out when that hook gear hits a small water surface.
        In the same situation, fly fishers can reach out and using the length of the rod, dance the fly on the water surface; a technique known as dapping. A technique that would have been known to Dame Juliana Berners.
        Tenkara fishing uses similar techniques.
        Tenkara always me of cane pole fishing with the cane, line and hook, only the cane doesn’t collapse. Still one of the best methods for bluegill and crappie fishing.
        Fly casting is actually easier for ladies. That baseball elbow that prevents women from properly throwing a fast ball goes a long way towards proper fly casting. Meanwhile those fast ball throwers have to work at preventing their wrists from snapping over. Ever see those dreadful pics of alleged fly casters whipping the water in front and in back of them? They’re definitely not fly casting, but I bet they can throw a fast ball.
        Any time you’re passing through Virginia, or if I, for some silly reason pass up spending time in the Nevada and Utah deserts, and instead decide to addict myself with steelhead fishing up in the great Northwest, I would be happy to introduce you and your guy to casting a fly. As would, I suspect, quite a few other WUWT denizens. I do not promise success at catching or casting…
        Sometimes a healthy gob of salmon eggs just beats the smack out of trying to convince fish that a feather and fur coated hook is tastier.

      • truth is – we need to go fishing by however method
        sorry Pamela that movie was so emotional, but glad you enjoyed …

      • ATheoK, you might be thinking of a different kind of river than what I fish in. There are probably only 3 places along the stretch of the river I fish in or its feedins that you can fly fish and the best one is all throw back. The other two have clearance but with the light test line of a fly rod and the size of fish that will bite, you will have to jump in or else the line will be snapped in two. Not a good idea to jump in. Dangerous snags in swift water are everywhere. And the river that is throw back? Water as cold as ice, cold enough to suck in arms and legs let alone, er..other parts. That particular bend in the river is at Williams Campground and we all used to swim there. You can still see the outline of the diving board that has rotted off its mooring and now sits at the bottom of a deep emerald pool.
        Here it is in the Spring filled with runoff. Around the corner to the upper right is where the hole is and what used to be our diving board. Once the runoff slows down, the pool back there is perfect for fly fishing. But be careful. The shore is thick with snags shoved there by the current so you have to be careful not to cast too far. This photo is not mine but I have some very similar to it.

  32. Well, got here rather late. Within 15 miles of my Wi farm we have 4 class four trout streams. All infested with browns, originally just brookies. So this might be welcome. Meanwhile, I will just fly fish for both…

  33. An adjunct professor working on spinning tales to scare fishermen into believing apocalyptic claptrap.
    By the way: I challenge anyone to offer an objective definition of “climate change” that is not self-referential of subjective.

  34. So at this point I can blame Climate Change© for if I get a flat tire on my way to go fishing – right?

  35. Growing up in Southern Michigan in the 1950s, I would ride my bicycle (and later my motor scooter) 18 miles north to a small creek that held a long term native population of brook trout. Where most of the trout actually lived was inaccessible, as much of the creek was overgrown with brush. But on one trip I managed to snag a 14.5″ brookie that really made my day (and a very tasty meal).
    In the mid 1960’s, as local housing developments sprung up, the creek was “improved” for public recreation. A dam was built to create a small lake for swimming and more accessible fishing.
    Result: warmer water. Bye bye brookies.
    In the early 1970s, upper Peppermint Creek, a tributary of California’s Kern River, held a unique subspecies of rainbow trout, an intermediate species between the higher altitude golden trout and lower elevation rainbows. They were small, and easily spooked. Hard to catch, and not many tried.
    An RV camping area was built along the creek, and the California DFG (yes, the same organization that spends $millions poisoning water supplies to remove “invasive species”) began stocking tons of hatchery rainbows to please the campers.
    Result: Overcompetition for limited resources. Bye bye natives.
    I’d like to see how many native fish habitats would still exist if government agencies hadn’t destroyed them.

    • verdeviewer, I started fishing upper peppermint when I was 7 (1958). It’s rugged! I last fished it in 2003 on a trip home from CO. As a child, we stayed at Quaking Aspen and often walked to peppermint. It’s a long walk but worth the trouble. It got easier once they built the highway. When I last fished there, it was still listed as a primitive campsite although they had put in latrines. To get RVs in there would have been a nightmare. They had to do a lot of tree removal and grading, I’m sure. When I lived on the Tule River (9 years), a group of us went to do rehab on lower peppermint, a much flatter and safer area. We planted willows mostly, to hold the banks and give more shade over the creek. I don’t know if it was really necessary but a neighbor committed us to do it. It was okay. I’m with you on the poisoning projects. What idiocy!

  36. “Under current conditions, brook trout are predicted to occur in streams throughout the region, and average driving distances from cities to the nearest streams predicted to offer angling opportunities ranged from 4 to 87 miles.” So it seems that they are uncertain about where the fish DO occur and how far away that might be even now but they for sure know that they won’t be there in future! I would have thought there should be a greater degree of certainty about ‘predicting’ the present.

    • Fishermen have been trying to find the fish since time immemorial. Now, if they can’t find them, it’s because of global warming.
      Add it to The List.

  37. Of all the factors governing the range of any species of fish, temperature is least important. For trout, structure, competition, and nitrate levels are far more important. Brook trout are quite adaptable and sometimes become a problem were introduced. Now if stream temps are going to raise by greater than 8C I might be concerned.

  38. “As a result of projected warming, driving distance to go fishing for wild brook trout was predicted to increase, on average, by almost 164 miles over the next 70 to 80 years.”
    Sorry I did not even read the comments. As usual there will be no-one around to verify any of this Cr.P. How can I get on this gravy train? Oh so sorry I don’t want to be on it . I don’t get travel sickness ever,
    but this train makes me ill.

  39. “…For example, the driving route from Philadelphia to the nearest brook trout stream was predicted to cover 249 miles in a warmer future, much longer than the current 48 miles…”

    Odd, the Wissahickon creek runs right through Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. And one can, as I have, caught trout right down to the creek’s intersection at the Schuylkill River, (at a deep pool that looks perfect for bass, bream and occasional muskellunge).
    Yes, the Wissahickon creek is stocked, as are almost all trout waters that are located in high population urban areas. Yet trout still manage to have native populations.
    Any direction North, West, or Northwest will quickly bring drivers, cyclers and walkers to more streams with trout in them.
    Yet, 249 miles is a quite a trip from Philadelphia, almost to Canada on a Northwest track, well up into New York heading North, almost to Ohio due West and deep into West Virginia to the Southeast.
    What happened to the limestone creek geologic area that begins within a hundred miles to the West from Philadelphia? Limestone creek waters issue from underground stream sources, are not dependent on air temperature and minimally affected by rainfall.
    Limestone creek water temperatures are quite stable through the length of the limestone creek run, even on winter coldest or hottest summer days. A truly amazing site is visiting a limestone creek at dawn during severe cold fronts, as water condensation from the warmer stream freezes as hoarfrost on nearby trees and vertical objects. I suspect that similar early morning views can be found at hot springs nationwide.
    Golf Courses and malls can hammer limestone creek flows by draining aquifers watering grass and landscaping.
    Limestone creek/river is a description for when underground waters surface, even for brief periods of time. Many of these waters return underground while others merge into streams or rivers.
    What is not covered by that description are the rather common underground water exits into larger drainage waters, e.g. seeps, cold springs, etc. Quite a few of these sources run as small cold streams before entering the larger waters.
    All of these water outlets bring trout compatible water sources into even warm water flows. Trout will stay in or near bottom water eddies or under ground overhangs at stream edges.
    The air may be hot, but generally these waters are cool, even cold from their interface with the Earth. Trout inhabiting these areas are not only minimally stresses but often active during the hottest summer periods. As they are ‘holdovers’ or even stream bred trout, they tend to be larger heavier trout. (hint, a local stonefly nymph drifted by or better under these overhangs can be productive.
    A major factor on small stream water temperatures during summer is the amount of shade present. Expansive sunny areas of shallow water are easily warmed by sunlight. These same areas when shaded stay cooler. So much so that shaded shallow streams in extremely sunny Utah not only stay cool enough for trout, but also cool the air for quite a distance near the stream.
    Not only a bogus modeled study, but a truly ‘Mad Max’ modeled eco-nut false fantasy. This sure seems to be a week for confirmation extremely biased research.

  40. Lived on Oak Creek (Sedona, AZ) in 1954-57 catching rainbows every day. Mom said we must eat everything we caught, so fried rainbow at least 5 nights per week. The local moms put out that for kids under 16, the limit was 5 per day, otherwise we would have brought home the actual legal limit of 10.
    Other rule, clean them yourselves! So, at a time when my parents had little money we survived by the effort of children, including myself. Of course we also swam in the creek and had occasion to notice the other denizens. Most common were what we called “suckers”, probably a type of carp, algae feeders, which nobody ever suggested eating. There were, in our favorite swimming section, two (and only two) bass of unidentified species present, and 1000yds downstream in a much deeper pool, there were a few bluegills of unknown species.
    How many of our current generation of children will ever have an experience even remotely like mine?

  41. Vacation homeowners who live along the trout streams like to clear out trees between the house and the stream, to afford a better view. Direct sunlight coming in warms the stream and does more to stream temperatures than the worst global warming projections could ever do.

  42. Scaremongering. Decades ago the brook trout were nearly extirpated from my little border stream in the mid-Appalachians — now they are healthy and prospering. The only problem they have now is competition w/the introduced bluegills (which are native to the area’s rivers, but originally not in the small streams).

  43. I grew up fishing trout streams in Oregon. As far back as the 60’s we were catching mostly hatchery fish. We would usually throw the natives back. Streams in the Cascades are pretty close to Portland. Can’t quite figure out how they’re going to get farther away with global warming.

  44. Where is the oversight for this nonsense? Are taxpayers just helpless and supposed to watch and cry as their money is flushed down the toilette? Is there no other fallout besides derision on blogs?
    Why are there zero repercussions?
    What can be done to put and end to this?
    As long as there are no ill consequences for taking taxpayer money and gifted it to idiots in exchange for nothing, these stories will go on without end. Pure tragedy.

  45. Well, I’m writing a comment now instead of fishing because the water in my local stream is too warm in August. Higher temperatures mean less dissolved oxygen and played fish become exhausted. All of the flyfishermen I know practice catch-and-release so we have stopped fishing until the conditions improve. As for traveling, most of the guys occasionally travel 40 miles to a river less impacted by higher temperatures. A few make an annual trip out west. That’s not likely to change under any temperature scenario.

    • Would you want it any other way? Did ya get a good look into their mouth and teeth?
      Hooking some of those buggers gives one the willies about swimming in the water. That is, if the local snapping turtles haven’t already.
      But you are absolutely correct. Even the folks fishing for muskies all of the time admit that catching them is usually accidental. Surprise! Big toothy and nasty decided to hit your lure, bait, or caught fish.
      My Brother caught one once while fishing for American shad with four pound line and a one sixteenth ounce jig.
      Since we had forgotten the net, I had laid down on the bank hanging over the water, planning to scoop the shad out onto the bank.
      This monster of a fish, leisurely swims in, turns over and swim back out into the Delaware river easily cutting the line during the turn.
      My Brother starts yelling that I should jump into the river and grab the fish.
      Me? You want the fish, you jump in the 50F degree water and grab him. Me, I like my fingers and dry clothes.
      He still complains about it occasionally, thirty some years on.
      Go catch another one!

  46. One thing for sure, …. the resulting claims of this “junk science” research will provide both Federal and State DNR agencies a “perfectly good reason” for increasing the public’s cost of purchasing Trout Stamps and Fishing Licenses.
    More money, more money, more money,….. it’s for saving the trout, …. ya know.

  47. ah shucks, his fly got snagged in the branches downstream and across – have to break off

  48. I suggest Professor Numpty read an excellent book called On the origin of species by a Mr Charles Darwin. It would be a better choice than the wank mags he has evidently been reading.

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