As we enter the dog days of summer and try to beat the heat by taking a swim in a lake or river, keep in mind that we are not the only ones trying to keep cool.
Riparian buffers play a critical role in the regulation of water temperature throughout the summer months. By providing shade over the water, trees and other vegetation keep water ways cooler, which is beneficial to aquatic species. This is especially true for trout, who need colder waters in order to survive. Studies show that when 80% or more of the stream bank is forested, temperatures are regulated enough for trout species to survive.
So next time you are floating or swimming in the river, and seeking shade to keep cool; remember that you’re not the only one counting on that shade to beat the heat.