Drones monitor water levels for threatened bull trout in Washington
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) says it is using drones to assess the effects of low water flows on bull trout movement and migration in drought-affected Kittitas and Yakima counties.
Kittitas and Yakima counties are currently in a drought emergency because of early snowmelt, a lack of spring rain, and low-flowing streams. On the other hand, bull trout are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
As the hot, dry summer progresses and water levels drop, conditions develop that create barriers to fish passage. The drone flights will help to alert biologists when they need to undertake fish rescue efforts due to these conditions.
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WDFW has been operating drones since August 1 over the lower reaches of tributary streams and following those streams to US…