Federal judge rules that EPA and Oregon DEQ must work harder to keep Oregon creeks, steams and rivers cooler to benefit fish
It’s a well established fact of science that salmon need cool, if not downright cold waters to ensure their reproduction goes according to plan. Many conservationists have argued for decades that logging trees too close to rivers and streams causes more sunlight to reach the flowing waters and thereby heat them up. Sometimes too much. Less shade means warmer waters and it’s bad for fish.
As the pictures to the left show, fish love to linger in the shade, not the bright sun and when areas are logged right up to the sides of streams, it’s beneficial that some of those logs are stacked in the streamways to provide at least some shade to keep the water from heating up so much it damages the fishery in the creek.
A long running lawsuit in Federal Court in Portland has lent greater support to that argument. A Federal judge ruled this week that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not properly supervised the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in protecting certain fish stocks by not properly regulating stream flow temperatures.
The story is found in the Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife News Bulletin. Click here.