Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8664
Title: Design and monitoring of woody structures and their benefits to juvenile steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using a net rate of energy intake model
Author: C. Eric Wall, Nicolaas Bouwes, Joseph M. Wheaton, Stephen Bennett, W. Carl Saunders, Pete A. McHugh, Chris E. Jordan
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Canadian Special Publication of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Keywords: NREI,drif,restoration effectiveness monitoring,steelhead

Despite substantial effort and resources being invested in habitat rehabilitation for stream fishes, mechanistic approaches to designing and evaluating how habitat actions influence the fish populations they are intended to benefit remain rare. We used a Net Rate of Energy Intake (NREI) model to examine expected and observed changes in energetic habitat quality and capacity from woody debris additions in a 40-m-long study reach being treated as part of a restoration experiment in Asotin Creek, WA. We simulated depths, velocities, and NREI values for pre-treatment, expected, and post-treatment habitat conditions, and we compared pre-treatment vs. expected and pre-treatment vs. post-treatment simulation results. The pre-treatment vs. expected topography simulations suggested treatment would increase energetically favorable reach area, mean NREI in the study area, and reach capacity. Pre-treatment vs. post-treatment comparisons yielded similar predictions, though to smaller magnitudes, likely due to the short time span and single high flow event between pre- and post-treatment data collection. We feel the NREI modeling approach is an important tool for improving the efficacy of habitat rehabilitation actions for stream fishes.

Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Develop effective and efficient habitat restoration and conservation techniques.
Characterize relationships between habitat and ecosystem processes, climate variation, and the viability of organisms.