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An international group of scientists, regulators, and managers met to discuss management of cold-water refuges and species that need cool water to survive. A new paper describes the workshop's conclusions and highlights the need for coordination to protect refuges as the climate changes. 

Cold-water refuges are patches of relatively cool water that are used by animals for relief from warm conditions. These refuges could become increasingly important as the climate warms and threatens coldwater species such as salmon and trout. In 2021, Francine Mejia (USGS) and Valerie Ouellet (NOAA) organized a workshop of an international group of scientists, environmental regulators, and resource managers to discuss how to better integrate science, policy, and management of cold-water refuges and the species that rely on them. The workshop participants, co-led by the workshop organizers, published a paper summarizing their conclusions and recommendations. Existing policies include designating cold-water habitats and restricting fishing during warm periods. However, these policies are rare and uncoordinated. In response, the authors propose that managing cold-water refuges as distinct landscape units could help prioritize management and conservation actions and improve coordination and adaptive management at the watershed scale.   

Mejia, F.H., Ouellet, V., Briggs, M.A., Carlson, S.M., Casas-Mulet, R., Chapman, M., Collins, M.J., Dugdale, S.J., Ebersole, J.L., Frechette, D.M., Fullerton, A.H., Gillis, C., Johnson, Z.C., Kelleher, C., Kurylyk, B.L., Lave, R., Letcher, B.H., Myrvold, K.M., Nadeau, T., Neville, H.M., Piégay, H., Smith, K., Tonolla, D., and Torgersen, C.E., 2023, Closing the gap between science and management of cold-water refuges in rivers and streams: Global Change Biology, v. 29, no. 19, p. 5482-5508. 

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