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Nevada Fish OK After Summer Drought

Northern Nevada's fish were certainly affected but, on the whole, appear to have weathered a third summer of drought without any serious crash in population. While some die-offs occurred, trout in rivers and streams, lakes and reservoirs made it to the fall season in relatively good shape, biologists report.

With temperatures now cooling and some precipitation likely on the way before long, the danger appears past.  Three dry winters in a row have lowered water levels across northern Nevada and the Sierra. The result is a challenging aquatic environment for trout and other fish. In rivers, fish are crowded into shrinking pools of water where smaller fish — pushed clear of habitat where they can hide — become vulnerable to predation by larger fish.

Perhaps the biggest danger lay with the possibility that temperatures in shallow waters, such as in the Truckee River, could rise in summertime heat to the point they no longer are able to hold adequate dissolved oxygen to support fish survival. That can cause massive die-offs and possibly wipe out entire fisheries.
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Jay Bartos joined Nevada Public Radio in 1993 to develop and manage the state’s first radio reading service for people unable to use standard printed material due to blindness or another disability. After the reading service was discontinued in 2011, he became the afternoon host on KNPR for ten years. Jay can now be heard on air on News 88.9 KNPR and Classical 89.7 KCNV throughout the week.