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Linkage Between Geomorphic and Biological Responses of a River to Dam Removal: a Case Study From the Chiloquin Dam on the Sprague River, Oregon

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  • Chiloquin Dam, located on the Sprague River in southern Oregon, was removed in August of 2008. The processing of the sediment stored behind the dam (composed primarily of sand and fines) and the resulting bedform changes have been examined using repeat cross section surveys, yearly bathymetric surveys, and surface sediment characterization. Continuous suspended sediment concentrations have been estimated to inform a sediment budget over 3 years (1 year pre removal and 2 years post removal). These data allow for the description of spatial extents and longitudinal trends in sediment deposition. Repeat ground and bathymetric surveys are used for the quantification of uncertainty in field methods utilized and an understanding of how this uncertainty limits change detection. Invertebrate and habitat data have been collected using the EMAP protocol developed by the USEPA. Linkage between the river’s processing of the sediment pulse and observed changes in invertebrate community composition and aquatic habitat metrics are explored.
  • Presented at The Oregon Water Conference, May 24-25, 2011, Corvallis, OR.
  • KEYWORDS: Sprague River, Dam removal, Chiloquin Dam
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