Examinations of historic water temperature data for the Columbia River showed limitations due to data availability for most sites. Low winter temperature at Upper Columbia sites was an apparent artifact of the sampling protocol. Comparison of historic and contemporary spring and summer temperatures at Castlegar showed that temperatures have increased and the impoundment is a likely contributor to this effect. Impacts of such a temparature shift on fish fauna are speculative. While shifts in fish community composition agree with hypothetical shifts based upon other studies, other factors may also be invloved, such as the presence of exotic species or changes to dam operations. The possible effects of future climate change may include the loss of glacial meltwater cooling and resultant increase in late summer temperatures.
McAdam, Steven. 2000. Summary of Historic and Contemporary Water Temperatures for the Columbia River and the Potential Effects of Impoundment. Ministry of Fisheries. Fisheries Technical Circular. FTC103
Topic: Fish and Fish Habitats
Keywords: Columbia River, water temperatures, fish, dams, impoundments
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