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Drought Conditions are Wreaking Havoc on Fish Across Idaho
The drought is bringing warmer temperatures to waterways and fisheries across Idaho, stressing fish populations and increasing the growth of toxic aquatic weeds.

The Associated Press is reporting that Lake Coeur d’Alene and similar-sized lakes in the northern panhandle are seeing temperatures in the 70s, while smaller bodies of water are in the 80s.

Hot water means more plant growth in the water and less oxygen for the aquatic species that call the waterways home. Less oxygen could lead to large-scale fish die-offs, which has already been seen in small ponds in Pocatello and Boise earlier this month.

The warm, drought-like conditions are also harming sockeye salmon that are swimming their way from the Pacific Ocean to the Sawtooth Valley to spawn. Some portions of the Columbia and Snake rivers are as much as 6 degrees warmer than usual, and fish biologists are finding dead sockeye salmon in tributaries in Oregon.

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Phosphorus Reduction Rules Could Help Lakes Meet Water Quality Standards - Municipalities and business groups are backing a bill that would delay implementation of costly phosphorus reduction rules, and instead give communities and industry more time and flexibility to cut the algae-causing pollutant.

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