Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

As the climate warms, cold-water refuges could be particularly important for migratory species that encounter a wide range of environmental conditions throughout their lives.

Researchers from the EPA, USGS, and University of Idaho used simulations to investigate the potential for cold-water refuges to provide relief for salmon and trout migrating upstream through a warm river corridor. Fish characteristics that impact the thermal exposure of fish during migration, such as migratory and spawn timing, swim speed, and use of cold-water refuges, were included in the simulations. The researchers found that use of cold-water refuges decreased the exposure of summer steelhead trout and fall Chinook salmon to physiologically stressful temperatures. There was more diversity in migration timing and speed, as cold-water refuge use allowed fish to migrate more slowly during warmer periods while minimizing energy expenditure. These simulations suggest that management actions designed to preserve cold-water refuges may improve the likelihood of Pacific salmon species to persist in a warming climate.  

Snyder, M.N., Schumaker, N.H., Ebersole, J.L., Dunham, J.B., Keefer, M.L., Halama, J., Comeleo, R.L., Leinenbach, P., Brookes, A., Cope, B., Wu, J., and Palmer, J., 2020, Tough places and safe spaces- can refuges save salmon from a warming climate: Ecosphere, v. 13, no. 11, e4265.

Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.