Sally Eason’s life has revolved around fish for decades.

Trout photo

Eason is the CEO emeritus of Sunburst Trout Farms in Waynesville, North Carolina, a trout-farming business started by her father in 1948.

“To me, there’s nothing prettier than a rainbow trout. It’s a romantic fish, I think,” Eason says in a recent video produced by David Salvesen of the University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment.

But temperatures are rising in North Carolina’s mountains, threatening the fish – and the family business.

“On the first half of my life, I never saw 90 degrees in Western North Carolina. It just didn’t happen. And now you see it fairly regularly, I’m sorry to say,” Eason says.

Heat is a death sentence for rainbow trout. When water temperatures rise to 73 degrees, the trout die.

Eason says four recent summers have brought stream temperatures that high, prompting widespread fish deaths.

She links alterations in the weather to climate change, which has pushed the average temperature of the Earth up 1.5 degrees since 1880.

Watch the video:

This video is part of “a multimedia storytelling project about the daily lives of North Carolinians experiencing climate change,” funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Produced by David Salvesen of the University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment, it is reposted here with permission.

Topics: Jobs & Economy, Species & Ecosystems