Idaho Drought Raises Water Temperatures to Unhealthy Levels
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The drought is bringing warmer temperatures to western Idaho lakes, stressing fish and threatening oxygen levels.
The Spokesman-Review reports Lake Coeur d'Alene and similar large lakes are seeing temperatures in the 70s while smaller bodies of water, like Lake Cocolalla, are in the 80s. Temperatures at Long Lake reservoir on the Spokane River have hit the high 70s. Hot water means more plant growth and less oxygen, with the level completely depleted along the floor of Lake Coeur d'Alene's south end.
Coeur d'Alene Tribe lake management plan coordinator Laura Laumatia says the absence of oxygen, called anoxia, showed up earlier than ever this year and impacts how sediment behaves in the lake. Laumatia said four straight months of anoxia will mean an interesting year for lake science.