THE VALUE OF IN-STREAM WATER TEMPERATURE FORECASTS FOR FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

Authors

  • BIAO HUANG,

    1. Huang: Graduate Research Assistant, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287. Fax 480 965 6899, E-mail bhuang10@asu.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
  • CHRISTIAN LANGPAP,

    1. Langpap: Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, Ballard 240E, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97333. Phone 541 737 1473, E-mail christian.langpap@oregonstate.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
  • RICHARD M. ADAMS

    1. Adams: Professor Emeritus, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97333. E-mail Richard.adams@oregonstate.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
    • We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Andrew Solow, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, in developing the statistical framework employed here and Donald Laurine, National Weather Service, Pacific Northwest Rivers Forecast Center, in acquiring and interpreting stream flow and temperature data. We also thank Ken Pavelle and Mark Plummer for comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are our own. Funding was provided by the National Weather Service, Office of Hydrologic Development, Washington, DC.


Abstract

Water temperature is an important factor affecting aquatic life within the stream environment. Cold water species, such as salmonids, are particularly susceptible to elevated water temperatures. This paper examines the economic value of short-term water temperature forecasts for salmonid management. Forecasts may have economic value if they allow the water resource manager to make better water allocation decisions. This study considers two applications: water releases for management of Chinook salmon in the Klamath River and leasing water from agriculture for management of steelhead trout in the John Day River. We incorporate biophysical models and water temperature distribution data into a Bayesian framework to simulate changes in fish populations and the corresponding benefit from recreational fishing and opportunity cost of water under different temperature forecast accuracies. Simulation results indicate that use of the forecasts results in increased fish production and that marginal costs decline and net benefits increase as forecast accuracy increases, suggesting that provision and use of such stream temperature forecasts would have value to society. (JEL Q22, Q25, Q28, Q50)

Ancillary