Geo 565 Final Project

Use of GIS in Salmon and Stream Restoration – Focus on the Northwest

Jannelle Wilde  – MNR student Spring 2016


Benda, Lee; Miller, Daniel; Andras, Kevin; Bigelow, Paul; Reeves, Gordon; Michael, David. Apr 2007. NetMap: A new tool in support of watershed science and resource management. Forest Science. 53:206-219.

NetMap was created for developing regional databases specifically for supporting watershed science and resource management, to automate certain analyses to help with additional options for management, and to improve the ability to interpret watershed level controls. It provides information for determining issues regarding erosion, sediment, roads, forest ages and fire risk all on a channel habitat scale of (20-200 m). This program will assist in making decisions in forestry, restoration, monitoring, conservation as well as regulation.

Feist, Blake E.; Steel, E. Ashley; Jensen, David W.; Sather, Damon N. D. May 2010. Does the scale of our observational window affect our conclusions about correlations between endangered salmon populations and their habitat? Landscape Ecology. 25:727-743 DOI: 10.1007/s10980-010-9458-1

This study looked at the relationship between GIS landscape information and the Pacific salmon populations in three subbasins of the Columbia River. The authors asked three questions regarding the relationship, if any, between a stream’s reach, an intermediate scale and an entire catchment. The three questions were: : (1) at which scale does each predictor best correlate with salmon redd density, (2) at which scale is overall model fit maximized, and (3) how does a mixed-scale model compare with single scale models (mixed-scale meaning models that contain variables characterized at different spatial scales)? Findings concluded that species abundance at one scale cannot be used in another scale. Restoration efforts should be based on the conditions of an individual watershed not on what was effective in another watershed.

Guzy, Michael; Richardson, Kris; Lambrinos, John G. Feb 2015. A tool for assisting municipalities in developing riparian shade inventories. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 14:345-535.

Many urban areas (particularly in the western US) have issues with point source pollution that raises stream temperature. Some of these areas are required to inventory and monitor the various parameters for stream health including temperature. Using LiDAR data gathered to estimate vegetation surrounding streams, this team developed a tool to assist cities and wetland property owners and managers in gathering data on shade. Besides an inventory, the tool also can assist in assessing where the highest potential shade gain could be developed from the future. It was found that there were limitations in some of the GIS regional data that may limit the application on a large scale without significant costs.

Hatten, James R. ; Batt, Thomas R.; Connolly, Patrick J.; Maule, Alec G. May 2014. Modeling effects of climate change on Yakima River salmonid habitats. Climatic Change. 124:427-439. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-013-0980-4

Using a hydrodynamic model and GIS data, the author’s analyzed two climate change scenarios in the Yakima River area, looking specifically that the salmonid habitats. Discharge rates were estimated with one of three various changes in air temperature. Using both the 2D and GIS data, the study determined that management of regulated surface waters could possibly lessen the effect of climate change on salmon habitat.

Hrachowitz, Markus; Soulsby, C.; Imholt, C.; Malcolm, I. A.; Tetzlaff, D. Nov 2010. Thermal regimes in a large upland salmon river: a simple model to identify the influence of landscape controls and climate change on maximum temperatures. Hydrological Processes. 24:3374-3391. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7756

This study used temperature observations and GIS data to identify what landscape characteristics most influence stream temperatures. The authors determined (like at least one other study in this project) that, at least in the winter, temperature is most determined by elevation, catchment area and shading. Summer temperatures appear to be a much more complex issue including distance from the coast and the forest cover. Results indicate what most scientists might hypothesize; streams most vulnerable to high temperature upland with no cover and furthest from the coast. The study went on make predictions regarding climate change scenarios that showed negative effects on thermal characteristics in these streams. It also showed that more riparian forests in the headwaters of a stream could possibly mitigate some of the temperature damage.

Isaak, DJ; Hubert, WA. Apr 2001. A hypothesis about factors that affect maximum summer stream temperatures across montane landscapes. Journal of the American Resources Association. 27:351-366. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2001.tb00974.x

In all biotas, temperature is important in streams. The authors wanted to create a hypothesis regarding montane landscapes and how the watershed characteristics affect stream temperatures. Temperature data was analyzed from a watershed in the Rocky Mountains. This examination then led to two further hypothesis landscape elements and stream temperatures. There results from this data was quite interesting to me in that they found that temperature had more to do with basin elevation more than shade abundance (which is emphasized in restoration). Variables in the working hypothesis included watershed aspect, stream width and watershed size. These were all tossed from the final hypothesis as having little influence on stream temperatures.

McGinnity, P.; De Eyto, E.; Gilbey, J.; Gargan, P.; Roche, W.; Stafford, T.; McGarrigle, M.; O’maoileidigh, N.; Mills, P. Feb 2012. A predictive model for estimating river habitat area using GIS-derived catchment and river variables. Fisheries Management and Ecology. 19:69-77. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2400.2011.00820.x

While this study was conducted in Ireland, the information still appeared to be useable in the US, as well. River lengths are generally easy to obtain widths are not as readily available. Because collecting actual data can be difficult and expensive to obtain, this study used GIS data to develop a predictive model to calculate river width. Using modelled and field measurements in both Ireland and Scotland, it appears that this model could be transferable to other areas. One of the uses already performed was to estimate the useable fluvial habitat for Atlantic salmon in Ireland.

Meredith, Christy; Roper, Brett; Archer, Eric. May 2014. Reductions in Instream Wood in Streams near Roads in the Interior Columbia River Basin. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 34:493-506 DOI: 10.1080/02755947.2014.882451

The authors examined the relationships between near-stream orads and the amount of various wood sizes in the interior Columbia River watershed. Developing models to analyze reduction of wood in streams near roads, they compared this with changes in wood in streams because of other conditions such as rainfall, gradient, etc. GIS was used to extrapolate the information beyond specific study areas. Based on the GIS analysis, about 29% of the study sites were within 60 meters of a road and that this is detrimental to trying to increase woody debris in stream.

Pool, Suzan S.; Reese, Douglas C.; Brodeur, Richard D. Feb 2012. Defining marine habitat of juvenile Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, and coho salmon, O. kisutch, in the northern California Current System. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 93:233-243 DOI: 10.1007/s10641-011-9909-9

Using data gathered from trips from Newport, Oregon to Crescent City, California, in 2000 and 2002, the authors evaluated and chose environments characteristics that were the best fit for juvenile Chinook and coho. Chlorophyll a concentration was the best parameter for finding young Chinook and decapod larvae, salinity and neuton biovolume were the best indications of where to find yearling coho. GIS maps were produced using this data and showed that Chinook habitat was widespread while yearling coho was variable and tended to be north of Cape Blanco.

Service, Christina N.; Nelson, Trislayn A.; Paquet, Paul C.; McInnes, Will S. S.; Darimont, Chris T. Oct 2012. Pipelines and Parks: Evaluating External Risks to Protected Areas from the Proposed Northern Gateway Oil Transport Project. Natural Areas Journal. 32:367-376

Using GIS, the authors developed a model measuring risk from an oil spill in the Fraser River watershed. This watershed is home to one of the most valuable salmon runs in British Columbia. The results from the study were used to determine which areas are most in need of an oil response plan and where to begin monitoring systematically first.

Smith, CL. 2002. Institutional mapping of Oregon coastal watershed management options. Ocean & Coastal Management. 45:357-375. DOI: 10.1016/S0964-5691(02)00075-3

GIS shows spatial relationships on a base map and institutional mapping uses this same idea to “map” three social areas of scale, power and capital. Institutions affecting watershed management are land use planning, forest management, water quality and salmon restoration. I am not sure how the social information was gathered though I assume that there were surveys conducted just as there would have been for objects on a map. This study determined that water quality has slightly more scale, power and capital than the other areas. It was indicated that with improvements in following the Clean Air Act would also improve the other three aspects considered in the study.

Spies, Thomas A.; Johnson, K. Norman; Burnett, Kelly M.; Ohmann, Janet L.; McComb, Brenda C.; Reeves, Gordon H.; Bettinger, Pete; Kline, Jeffrey D.; Garber-Yonts, Brian. Jan 2007. Cumulative ecological and socioeconomic effects of forest policies in Coastal Oregon. Ecological Applications. 17:5-17. DOI: 10.1890/1051-0761(2007)017[0005:CEASEO]2.0.CO.

When policies are put into place in areas with multi-ownership forests, often decisions are not made in any coordinated manner. Interactions nor cumulative effects are often not anticipated because of this style of decision-making. The authors produced an assessment of some of the outcomes, both ecologically and socioeconomically, in what is defined as the Coast Range Physiographic Province of Oregon. It covers about 2.3 million hectares. Land owners and their goals in this area are diverse. This study looked at the current uses as well as predicted forest changes of the next 100 years with the current uses in mind. Using GIS models of stand structure and composition, habitat models for land and water species, and several other parameters, the authors of the study examined the predicted outcomes against the current policies and goals (I am assuming this is the policies and goals of federal agencies as well as more local organizations.) Diverse older conifer stands and habitat for targeted wildlife species looked to improve on all fronts. Certain vegetation landscapes look like they will decline. Interestingly, streams with salmon reproduction occur mainly on privately held land and will not benefit from the strict policies currently in place. The overall take away from this study was that the uncoordinated efforts of policies are made more challenging with large time and space issues to deal with and could benefit from better efforts at communication and policy making.

Tiffen, Kenneth F.; Rondorf, Dennis W. Jan 2001. Post-release attributes and survival of hatchery and natural fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. Annual report 1999. BPA Report DOE/BP. 00000161-1. [viewed17/03/2003]

This is a report of several research activities from 1999 and several years previous along the Columbia River and tributaries in regards to the several dams’ interactions with salmon smolts. Using hydrodynamic modeling and a GIS-based analysis to estimate the habitat of juvenile fall chinook salmon in a 33-km section of the Hanford Reach. Generally, this area is excellent spot for juvenile habitat however the increases and decreases in the water levels tend to make life more challenging for the smolts. The presence of riprap on the shorelines where salmon redds previously existed was another challenge. The fish tended to avoid these areas but it wasn’t clear exactly why. A study was then done regarding zooplankton in the area. This was a very interesting report filled with much excellent information. Today, it would be interesting to see how GIS information alone could inform some of these questions from almost two decades ago.

Viers, Joshus H. Mar/Apr 2008. Objective classification of Navarro River salmon habitat: a watershed-based critical habitat case study. Aquatic Conservation-Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 18:147-162 DOI: 10.1002/aqc.824

This study was undertaken because there had not been any prioritization of the freshwater streams that are critical to salmonids. Because the fish are well-known, they are ideal for connecting them to the prioritization of their habitats. It was determined that the Navarro River was critical to the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act and therefore would be a good river to focus on in regards to restoration. The study determined that there was 22 km of habitat in the river in need of protection.

Whelan, Franziska. 2000. Analysis of land use/land cover and the frequency of bankfull flow in selected salmon habitat recovery stream in the Pacific Northwest using GIS. Thesis

In this thesis, GIS data, hydrologic modeling and analysis were all utilized to evaluate bankfull discharge intervals and land use and stream buffers. Land use land cover in 71 large Pacific Northwest watersheds was evaluated for multiple parameters. Bankfull data indicated that urban or agriculture areas were more likely to experience bankfull flows than in other areas. The point of this study determined that when performing restoration, it is important that water scale be taken into consideration. The dissertation offers two different analytic assessments when making decisions in restoration work.

Wirth, Lisa; Rosenberger, Amanda; Prakash, Anupma; Gens, Rudiger; Margraf, F. Joseph; Hamazaki, Toshihide. 2012. A Remote-Sensing, GIS-Based Approach to Identify, Characterize, and Model Spawning Habitat for Fall-Run Chum Salmon in a Sub-Arctic, Glacially Fed River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 141: 1349-1363 DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2012.692348

This study’s aim was to find and describe spawning habitat for the chum salmon in the Tanana River in Alaska. They used the spatial distributions of tagged salmon along with ground surveys. The surveys identified characteristics in the river that are thought to be agreeable to winter survival of the chum such as ice-free water as well as consistency in ice-free water. Satellite imagery was used to look at a 12 year period for continual ice-free areas. Once these areas had been identified, remote sensing equipment was placed to determine if thermal characteristics indicate positive conditions for the chum.