Vermont’s only native stream-dwelling trout may be endangered by the state’s warming climate, and has been labeled by some who revere the fish as a “canary in a coal mine” on climate change.
Wild brook trout thrive in clear, running water between 50 and 65 degrees, but experts say the amount of stream habitat that provides those attributes is decreasing.
A recent joint study by government agencies and environmental groups estimates that just 14% of Vermont’s watershed provides good brook trout conditions.
River temperatures are rising in part because people building near rivers tend to cut down trees along the bank, allowing more sunlight to hit the water. But longer term climate change is believed a factor as well.