Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Everglades Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, VoteWater.org, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.
1. This Summer’s Record-Breaking Heat Waves Would Not Have Happened without Climate Change
From the Southwest to the Midwest to South Florida and from Europe to Asia, record high temperatures have made this the hottest summer of all time:
Phoenix, Ariz., has had 25 consecutive days of temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) amid the unrelenting heat dome that has been clamped firmly in place over the U.S. Southwest and Mexico. Meanwhile the township of Sanbao in the Xinjiang Uygur region of China, has set the country’s all-time record high temperature of 126 degrees F (52.2 degrees C) as parts of China have baked in a heat wave. And yet another record-breaking heat event has been roasting southern Europe, giving Spain’s region of Catalonia its hottest-ever temperature of 113.7 degrees F (45.4 degrees C).
Writing in Scientific American, Andrea Thompson makes a compelling argument that Climate Change is the driving force behind these extreme events. She cites extensive studies that show the magnifying effects of a warming Earth, but she also offers hope . . . if we can show some serious resolve to act to rein in Climate Change.
- Buoy in Florida Keys measures 101.1-degree water temperature, on nbc-2.com
- Historic Heatwave Triggering Coral Die-Off in Florida, on coralrestoration.org
- South Florida waters hit hot tub level and may have set world record for warmest seawater, on apnews.com
2. Low Flows Causing Problems for Trout on Tennessee’s South Holston River
The South Holston River in Sullivan County, Tennessee, is considered by many to be the best tailwater fishery in the southeast. Recently, however, water releases have been at an all time minimum, and low flows have become a serious problem. The community of anglers and others who love the river are trying to stay ahead of the curve and avoid a long-term issue. A recent study by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) found a 35% decrease in the trout population, which has set off alarm bells.
The Blue Ridge Guide Association and Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited are proposing that the Tennessee Valley Authority establish a 300 CFS minimum flow and a stable recreational flow schedule, similar to the one used for the nearby Wilbur Tailwater. The 300 CFS minimum flow and recreational schedule would help fish and aquatic life thrive and make the South Holston River more accommodating for recreational use for years to come.
BRGA and OMTU have launched a petition to help show how many people support their cause. At a meeting this Thursday, advocates will present the petition to executives from the local power company which controls the flows, so please sign NOW.
The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is observed annually on July 26th. Its purpose is to increase global understanding of the significance of mangrove ecosystems as distinct, precious, and delicate environments. The day also seeks to advocate for sustainable practices in managing, safeguarding, and utilizing these ecosystems.
Mangroves provide nursery habitat for many fish species that have lost habitat elsewhere, but mangroves play vital roles in protecting against saltwater intrusion, storm surges, and sea-level rise. The vast root systems hold soils in place, and the decaying plants create even more soils, leading to elevation rise. Another benefit is carbon sequestration, in which the huge mass of plant life stores carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, adding to the greenhouse effect.
4. Land Tawney Announces Departure as Head of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Last week, after 10 years of dedicated service building an organization that has become the continent’s leading voice for hunters and anglers and public lands and waters, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO Land Tawney announced his departure from BHA, effective the end of July.
Over the course of Tawney’s tenure, BHA vaulted from a small, volunteer-based, Western-centric organization with less than a thousand members to a North American-wide influential powerhouse with chapters in 48 states, Washington D.C., two Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory. With an engaged community of more than half a million members, supporters and partners and 30-plus staff, BHA is impacting policy from a local to federal level, playing an increasing role in the stewardship of North America’s public lands and waters, winning fights for conservation and access, and creating a “big tent” gathering point for outdoorsmen and women of all stripes.
Hear Land’s appearances on the Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast: