Winter ecology of juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in modified and unmodified sections of a coastal stream Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4b29b828b

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  • Natural and gabion modified habitats containing coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) were observed and measured seasonally in East Fork Lobster Creek, a fifth order stream in western Oregon. Coho salmon usually inhabited backwater and secondary channel pools in winter. Large wood debris complexes and undercut banks were the primary sources of cover in winter. Beaver activity played a vital role in creating summer and winter habitat. Discharge rates seemed to have more influence than temperature in regulating coho winter hiding behavior. Lower than usual stream discharges of the 1984-85 winter allowed many fish to move out from cover, and a large portion of the coho were found more than 2 meters from cover. Coho were also not as dependent on cover during the low flows of spring and summer, and these low discharges allowed fish to inhabit less complex sites. Study sites with gabions maintained large numbers of fry throughout the spring and summer. Fish were attracted to the gabion-created plunge pools in low stream discharge months but not in high discharge months. During winter high discharges, gabion sites with backwater pool habitat held relatively larger numbers of fish than gabion sites without such habitat.
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