Microhabitat utilization by juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in relation to stream discharges in the lower American River of California Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kh04dt316

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  • Habitats for juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) were observed at a high flow during the spring of 1989 and at a low flow during the spring of 1991 in the lower American River of California. Parameters of microhabitats in eight macrohabitats were measured. Mean column water velocity and total water depth variables were used to statistically compare juvenile chinook salmon microhabitat distributions between and among macrohabitat type/reach and flow combinations. Using mean column water velocity and total water depth as independent variables, each macrohabitat type/reach appeared to be unique. Mean column water velocity seemed to be a better descriptor of juvenile chinook salmon habitat selection than was total water depth. Riffles appeared to be the preferred macrohabitats for large non-schooling chinook salmon at both flow levels. Root wads, woody debris, and submerged terrestrial vegetation were utilized extensively and provided a significant cover for schooling chinook salmon during the high flow period. Habitat utilization by chinook salmon appears to be influenced by nonhydraulic variables. Application of models in current instream flow studies need to include factors such as water temperature and aquatic insect production.
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