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Keywords:

  • large woody debris;
  • brown trout;
  • Salmo trutta;
  • rainbow trout;
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss;
  • cover habitat

Abstract

Large woody debris was explored as a method of restructuring channelized streams to improve salmonid habitat. Whole trees were inserted in sections along a 2 km reach of a channelized stream to determine if large woody debris: (1) increased the abundance and biomass of brown (Salmo trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss); (2) had an effect on physical habitat features; and (3) provided trouts with additional habitat. Trout populations and stream morphology were monitored before and after the introduction of woody debris and compared to control sections lacking woody debris. Abundance and biomass of both brown and rainbow trout increased in the treatment section compared to the control. Maximum and standard deviation of fish total length increased in all sections during summer months. The number of individuals and the standard deviations of total lengths decreased in the control section in winter, but increased in the treatment section. Mean water velocities decreased and number and volume of pools increased in treatment sections. Brown and rainbow trouts sought woody debris structures for cover. We conclude that large woody debris can serve as a method of reconstructing channelized streams to improve salmonid habitat. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.