Title

Fish response to increased habitat from stream reconstruction, and exploring the use of aerial imagery in evaluating habitat usage.

Presenter Information

Patrick VrablikFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Watershed Science

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Michael B. Flinn

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Hatchery Creek is a restored stream near Jamestown, KY that drains from a cold-water fish hatchery. The degraded channel of Hatchery Creek caused large sediment plumes in the Lower Cumberland River, and was reconstructed to decrease sediment loss and create a self-sustaining trout population. We predicted that improved bed grade and habitat quality in the reconstructed stream would improve fish diversity and biomass. Fish communities were sampled seasonally for 2 years before and after the reconstruction. Before reconstruction, taxa richness was 6-8 fish species, dominated by rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss), brown (Salmo trutta), and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). After reconstruction, fish diversity decreased to 5 taxa. Drone imagery was used in combination with electrofishing to evaluate habitat usage and redd formation. 60% of fish were sampled from boulder habitat, 30% were sampled in coarse woody debris, and 10% were sampled in the channel. The patterns of fish recovery suggest combining engineering and ecology to create a “field of dreams” may be a worthwhile restoration technique.

Spring Scholars Week 2018 Event

Watershed Research Institute Symposium

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Fish response to increased habitat from stream reconstruction, and exploring the use of aerial imagery in evaluating habitat usage.

Hatchery Creek is a restored stream near Jamestown, KY that drains from a cold-water fish hatchery. The degraded channel of Hatchery Creek caused large sediment plumes in the Lower Cumberland River, and was reconstructed to decrease sediment loss and create a self-sustaining trout population. We predicted that improved bed grade and habitat quality in the reconstructed stream would improve fish diversity and biomass. Fish communities were sampled seasonally for 2 years before and after the reconstruction. Before reconstruction, taxa richness was 6-8 fish species, dominated by rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss), brown (Salmo trutta), and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). After reconstruction, fish diversity decreased to 5 taxa. Drone imagery was used in combination with electrofishing to evaluate habitat usage and redd formation. 60% of fish were sampled from boulder habitat, 30% were sampled in coarse woody debris, and 10% were sampled in the channel. The patterns of fish recovery suggest combining engineering and ecology to create a “field of dreams” may be a worthwhile restoration technique.