As fall approaches and we see Hoot-owl restrictions lifted on our favorite fishing sites, I’d like to share an important statement on fish and climate that may have been overlooked in this busy political time.
The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest fisheries science society and includes fisheries scientists who study all kinds of aquatic systems from coral reefs to mountain trout. These scientists have joined with over 100 other aquatic science societies from around the world to issue a World Climate Statement that summarizes some of the current documented and
possible future changes in our aquatic systems due to shifts in our climate.
It is unprecedented to have such diverse and international support for a scientific issue, but this support reflects the overwhelming evidence from studies and articles, reviewed by respected scientists, that is provided as part of the statement. Politicians would have us think that the science is divided on climate, but that just is not the case.
I would urge you to review the AFS climate statement and note the scientific literature that is cited to substantiate each bulleted item. For those of us in the intermountain west, I offer one excerpt from AFS’s press release on the statement, “Freshwater fish are especially threatened by the impacts of climate change. Freshwater species in North America are today imperiled as a result of pollution, habitat loss, water withdrawals, and invasive species. Climate change coupled with these existing stressors will lead to significant declines in freshwater fish, with devastating
consequences for cultural, recreational, and economic value of freshwater systems.”
Please take a minute to review the statement, consider what Montana’s fish and rivers mean to you, and vote accordingly.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle Letter to the Editor 10/9/20