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Coho salmon spawning preference in artificial stream channels at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center. Leanne Weiss Advisor: Desiree Tullos. What factors impact where salmon spawn?. Common descriptors of spawning habitat:. Gravel size

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Coho salmon spawning preference in artificial stream channels at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center

Leanne Weiss

Advisor: Desiree Tullos

what factors impact where salmon spawn
What factors impact where salmon spawn?

Common descriptors of spawning habitat:

Gravel size

Water depth



What other factors impact where salmon spawn?

Hyporheic zone

  • “subsurface region of a stream where the groundwater and stream water interact” (Arntzen, Geist and Dresel 2006).

How do Hyporheic processes effect fish and their choice of spawning habitat?

Upwelling areas of groundwater discharge into stream water

Downwelling areas of stream water discharge into groundwater

consider known spawning and non spawning sites and the following variables
Consider known spawning and non-spawning sites and the following variables:


Subsurface velocity

Substrate size

Dissolved oxygen

how do you measure upwelling downwelling
How do you measure upwelling/downwelling?

Vertical Hydraulic Gradient

  • where difference between water level in the piezometers and water level in the stream:
  • [water level inside piezometers] – [water level outside piezometers]
  • And depth of stream bed to the bottom of the piezometer:
  • [top of piezometer to center of opening] – [top of piezometers to gravel surface]

From Dahm et al. 2006

other measurements taken
Other measurements taken

Subsurface Velocity

Slug tracer test

Enter in a known concentration of NaCl and measure conductivity

Substrate Size

Sieve samples

Cumulative particle distribution (surface/subsurface)

Most literature shows upwelling or downwelling to be the most important factor in spawning location

Possible reasons my data did not show this

  • Artificial channels
    • Constant flow
    • Bedload is not moving
    • Habitat is not restructured
why should we care
Why should we care?

ESA “critical habitat”

Better ways to create artificial habitat

  • Desiree Tullos, David Noakes, OHRC, Ryan Couture, Joseph O’Neil, Nicole Czarnomski, Arianna Lambie, John Best, Cara Walter, Donna Viss, Sherri Johnston, Julia Jones, Kari O’Connell, Jorge Ramirez, Jennifer Hill

Works Cited inPresentation

Arntzen, E.V., Geist, D.R., Dresel, P.E. 2006. Effects of fluctuating river flow on groundwater/surface water mixing in the hyporheic zone of a regulated, large cobble red river. River Res. Applic. 22:937-946.

Dahm, C.N, Valett, H.M., Baxter, C.V. 2006. Chapter 6: Hyporeheic Zones. In Hauer, F.R., Lamberti, G.A. (eds.), 2006 Methods in Stream Ecology (pp 119-144). Oxford UK: Elsevier.