SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Washington Department of Ecology has submitted a plan to save the aquatic wildlife in the Palouse River.

The agency wants to reduce the summer river temperature by four degrees because it is getting too warm for the fish. According to the agency, fish need clean water to have a healthy population. They also need that water to be cool because cooler water holds more oxygen.

Past water monitoring of the Palouse River shows the river is too warm.

Brooke Beeler with the Washington Department of Ecology said the Palouse River vegetation surrounded the river more in the past than today.

Vegetation provides shade which helps to keep water temperature down. Officials said erosion has also raised the temperature over time because sediments absorb heat and make the stream more shallow.

Beeler said the Palouse River is listed on a water quality standards list as not meeting the required temperature which varies up and down the river.

The Department of Ecology has submittedits river temperature reductionplan to theEnvironmental Protection Agency.

That plan includes planting more trees and vegetation on banks to increase shade. Officials said plants will help with erosion. Federal grants are helped with the funding of restoration.

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