UTAH (ABC4) – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is adjusting where it’s stocking its fish. 

“As water levels decrease, your water warms up a little bit more,” said Randy Oplinger with the DWR. 

Oplinger said warm water can kill fish, in part because warm water has less oxygen in it. That’s why the DWR is re-evaluating where it stocks its fish.

“It really helps the remaining fish survive during really tough conditions that might happen when we get hot, dry conditions later this year,” said Oplinger. 

2021 was the first year the DWR did this, but with the state being in a drought for 8 of the last 10 years, Oplinger said this will likely become the new normal. In fact, if water levels continue to drop, the DWR said they could re-evaluate what type of fish they release every year. 

“We’ve got some that are more drought-tolerant, that handle higher temperatures, lower water conditions, lower oxygen a little better than others,” said Oplinger.