LAKE TEXOMA - There's no escape from this heat even in the water. The Army Corps of engineers reported a ninety degree water temperature in Lake Texoma this morning and that level can make the water deadly to some fish. Rick Springer talked to a local biologist to find out about the toll this heat is taking on wildlife.
Being out here under this scorching Texas sun makes me want to jump into lake Texoma. But, we talked with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department out here in Grayson County and they say even the fish are starting to have a hard time dealing with this heat.
At ninety degrees, Lake Texoma's water temperature is baffling lake officials like fishery biologist Bruce Hysmith. "Well this is probably the hottest creature invasive type heat I've experienced in 33 years."
Lake Texoma is known for it's excellent striper fishing. The problem is -- among all the different species of fish in the lake, stripers hate the heat the most.
"These stripers go down to get comfortable," said Hysmith. "They get into low oxygen and their systems are compromised by low oxygen and they have a tendency to die."
Fish that do remain at the surface become lethargic and can stop biting. Bad news for fisherman in the area.
"Just ain't no good," said Loyd Barnett, Colber resident. "The fish just ain't biting."
These high temperatures also promote green algae growth that can lower Lake oxygen levels even further. But fish aren't the only animals suffering from these extreme conditions.
"We were coming down the little mineral arm here," Hysmith said, "and there was a coyote standing about belly deep in the water just cooling himself."
Hysmith says he's seen more animals displaced and searching for food this year than he has in a long time. "It's dried out a lot of grasses they they eat on. It's reduced the mass crop from these oak trees.
Hysmith says that although they don't know of any heat related fish kills on the lake so far, if things don't change it could become a very real possibility.