After sustained temperatures over 100 degrees last week, the shallow water and lack of oxygen in west Boise's Redwood Pond caused bass, bluegill and other species to die. At its deepest point, the pond is only about 14 feet. Boise's Parks and Recreation Department is trying to figure out a way to make sure the water is safe for fish.
Evin Oneale of Idaho Fish and Game says we’ve hit that part of the summer where heat can really hurt fish populations in shallower water – even warm water fish.
“It’s not an uncommon thing, certainly when temperatures get extreme like they have been," says Oneale. "But it certainly drew a lot of attention to that pond by the public.”
Oneale says trout especially need cold, fresh water. So, the department will stop stocking trout in 17 local ponds the rest of the summer. He says this is the agency's policy every year when it gets very hot.
“Rather than put those trout in a pond where we know not going to survive very long, we shift our stocking and go to higher lakes like Bull Trout Lake in the Stanley Basin and we also stock those fish in rivers and streams.”
But Oneale says there are still opportunities for anglers to catch non-native fish, one species in particular.
“We’ve stocked catfish in a number of those ponds. And catfish are a warm water species, they do very well in warmer temperatures that would be lethal to trout. And that gives anglers another opportunity to go out and catch catfish rather than trout at some of those local ponds.”
There are nine ponds in southwest region Idaho Fish and Game stocks with catfish. Oneale says once it cools down in the fall, his agency will begin putting trout back in local ponds.
Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio