Short and long term effects of fires on fishing


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Hey all. First OFF, I hope everyone is staying safe out there! I'm definitely looking forward to the projected humid air and rain coming over the next few days (Projected for Clackamas County where I live) to hopefully downgrade the fires and poor air quality.

Next I had a question about how these fires will impact fishing long term and short term. Are there certain rivers/lakes/ streams/ coastal waters that will experince major fish loss/ fish runs are wiped out or are fish pretty resilient in making it through forest fires ( obviously they have some level of resiliency due to forest fires being around forever but I was curious if major changes will occur to fishing populations)? Does the poor air quality significantly impact the fish? When the fires eventually let up and diminish, do fish go through a "rebound" period or does fishing activity resume to normal?

I most importantly want the safety of people and property to take priority. With that said I am itching to keep on fishing when the time is appropriate and was curious as to what that would look like when everything clears up. A week and a half ago I had planned a fishing trip for this weekend and those plans quickly changed over the past week but I am eager to get back out there and wanted to know from those who have knowledge if any techniques will need to be switched up to post-fire situations. Thanks in advance!


Good question. I might sound a little bit misanthropic, but my guess would be - the further elements push away humans, the better for the rest of nature.
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For the long term I would "think" it would be good and bad the good would be the nutrients that would enter the river from dead decaying trees the bad would be the lack of shade on the river were trees were lost and the landslides that will come from this probably more bad than good
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Depending upon where you were planning to fish; you may be turned away. Not even homeowners are being allowed into some of the burned areas yet.

The long term affects, one would surmise, likely won't be known for a long time. The current estimate range from 900,000 to 1 million acres burned so far. FAR surpassing the previous record of the infamous "Tillamook Burn". Which only consumed 355,000 acres. But actually happened over a period from 1933 - 1951 at 6-year intervals. Most of what we've just seen...happened in ONLY ONE WEEK!!! Which would have much more sudden impacts, and on a greater scale.

You might want to call ahead, or look online. Before you venture out. To see if you can even get where you're going. To be sure it isn't closed OFF. It it's anywhere near, or in, the fire zones.
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For the long term take a look at the results of the Tillamook burn fires. The Tillamook State Forest back in the 1930s and 1940s had major forest fire damage, beyond what we have seen in the current fires. Now the Wilson River and Nehalem River are prime fishing rivers.

As of today the Mt. Hood national forest is closed so it may be hard to get out and fish. The smoke is still thick out here, but not as bad as yesterday and Sunday. Might be a week or so before the air quality gets better.

When we packed up to evacuate, I took many pictures off the wall and loaded them into my truck. One of those was a picture of my boat. It's back on the wall now!
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