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John M. Bartholow. 2005: Recent Water Temperature Trends in the Lower Klamath River, California. North American Journal of Fisheries Management: Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 152-162. posted to KBC 3/29/05

Abstract.-Elevated water temperatures have been implicated as a factor limiting the recovery of anadromous salmonids in the Klamath River basin. This article reviews evidence of a multidecade trend of increasing temperatures in the lower main-stem Klamath River above the ocean and, based on model simulations, finds a high probability that water temperature has been increasing by approximately 0.5C/decade (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.42-0.60C/decade) since the early 1960s. The season of high temperatures that are potentially stressful to salmonids has lengthened by about 1 month over the period studied, and the average length of main-stem river with cool summer temperatures has declined by about 8.2 km/decade. Water temperature trends seem unrelated to any change in main-stem water availability but are consistent with measured basinwide air temperature increases. Main-stem warming may be related to the cyclic Pacific Decadal Oscillation, but if this trend continues it might jeopardize the recovery of anadromous salmonids in the Klamath River basin.



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