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Keywords:

  • river restoration;
  • habitat enhancement;
  • adaptive management;
  • fall-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha);
  • validation of habitat predictions

ABSTRACT

The River2D two-dimensional hydraulic and habitat model was used to simulate fall-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) spawning and fry and juvenile rearing habitat of the first phase of a stream channel restoration project on Clear Creek, California. Habitat was simulated for a range of stream flows: (1) before restoration; (2) based on the restoration design; (3) immediately after restoration; and (4) after one and two large flow events. Hydraulic and structural data were collected for three sites before restoration, and prerestoration habitat was simulated. Habitat simulated for these sites was extrapolated to the prerestoration area based on habitat mapping. The topographical plan for the restoration was used to simulate the anticipated habitat after restoration. Although the restoration increased spawning habitat, it was less successful for rearing habitat. Channel changes associated with high-flow events did not entirely negate the benefits of the restoration project. The results of this study point out the need for models that can simulate the changes in channel topography associated with high-flow events, which could then be used to simulate habitat over time. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.