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Climate-fueled wildfires worsen danger for struggling fish

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Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout
/
nps.gov

AMALIA, N.M. (AP) — After a wildfire roared through northern New Mexico this summer, state and federal biologists rescued scores of Rio Grande cutthroat trout from a small stream. They were kept alive in tanks for three months and recently released into another mountain creek. Such rescues of rare fish are becoming more necessary in the southwestern U.S. as climate change fuels bigger wildfires. They're followed by torrential rains that wash ashy muck into streams, killing fish and smothering their feeding and spawning areas. Fish in some places evolved to benefit from fire, which can provide nutrients and improve habitat. But giant, intense fires are causing fish kills.