Fish use of turbulence around wood in winter: Physical experiments on hydraulic variability and habitat selection by juvenile coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch Public Deposited

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  • Re-introduction of large wood for expanding hydraulic variability is an increasingly common practice, yet it is not yet known what elements of hydraulic variability are most beneficial to fish. In an experiment designed to emphasize the minimization of energy expenditure through controlled predation and drift, we investigated whether juvenile coho, under winter conditions, discriminated between microhabitats based primarily on flow strength, depth, distance to wood, or based on temporal or spatial variability of the flow field, with the hypothesis that turbulence would be a strong factor in habitat selection. We conducted physical experiments in a 1:1 scale model of a large wood jam at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center in Alsea, Oregon. We conducted high resolution (0.1 m) mapping of the flow field using an acoustic Doppler velocimeter array and underwater videogrammetry of fish locations. Results indicated that discrimination of microhabitats by juvenile coho salmon in cold, low flows emphasized depth and distance to wood over any hydraulic measures of the flow field. Correlations between hydraulic parameters and distance to wood limited our ability to distinguish the importance of turbulence measures relative to velocities, but highlighted the positive relationships between velocity and turbulence measures and the negative relationships between hydraulics and distance from the roughness elements. Findings suggest areas of further study including potential thresholds of temperature and flow intensity on the importance of turbulence in habitat selection.
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  • Tullos, D., & Walter, C. (2015). Fish use of turbulence around wood in winter: physical experiments on hydraulic variability and habitat selection by juvenile coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 98(5), 1339-1353. doi:10.1007/s10641-014-0362-4
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