Stress from heat, drought on fish spurs push to reduce kills

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Drought and record hot weather are producing potentially lethal conditions for salmon and trout in rivers across the West.

A recent survey of 54 rivers in Oregon, California and Washington by the conservation group Wild Fish Conservancy showed nearly three-quarters had temperatures higher than 70 degrees, considered potentially deadly for salmon and trout.

Dead salmon were spotted in Oregon's Willamette River in June.

In California, inland fisheries manager Roger Bloom says they are considering emergency fishing closures on several rivers so fish weakened by the warm water do not die from being played by an angler.

Oregon Climate Center Associate Director Kathie Dello says the entire West Coast saw record low snowpack last winter, leading to low summer rivers. And all three states have had record high temperatures for June.