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Using Instream Water Temperature Forecasts for Fisheries Management: An Application in the Pacific Northwest

Authors


  • Paper No. JAWRA-10-0089-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.

(E-Mail/Langpap: christian.langpap@oregonstate.edu).

Abstract

Huang, Biao, Christian Langpap, and Richard M. Adams, 2011. Using Instream Water Temperature Forecasts for Fisheries Management: An Application in the Pacific Northwest. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 47(4):861-876. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00562.x

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 potential usefulness of short-term (7 to 10 days) water temperature forecasts for salmonid management. Forecasts may be valuable if they allow the water resource manager to make better water allocation decisions. This study considers two applications: water releases from Lewiston Dam for management of adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Klamath River and leasing water from agriculture for management of steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 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 opportunity cost of water under different levels of temperature forecast reliability. Simulation results indicate that use of the forecasts results in increased fish production and that marginal costs decline as forecast reliability increases, suggesting that provision and use of such stream temperature forecasts would have potential value to society.

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