Effects of experimental flow regulation on invertebrate drift and stranding in the Flathead and Kootenai Rivers, Montana, USA
- Cite this article as:
- Perry, S.A. & Perry, W.B. Hydrobiologia (1986) 134: 171. doi:10.1007/BF00006739
Studies were conducted to determine the effects of experimental manipulations of discharge on invertebrate drift in two regulated rivers in northwestern Montana, USA. During these studies the discharge regime in the Flathead River was characterized by frequent flow fluctuations, while in the Kootenai River high discharge was maintained for much longer periods before flow was reduced to minimum discharge. The magnitude of the response of invertebrates to disturbance was different in the two rivers, in part because of the different frequencies of flow changes. Midstream invertebrate drift increased an order of magnitude during increasing discharges in the Flathead River but was not substantially increased during decreasing discharges. When the prior discharge regime had been sustained at high levels in the Kootenai River, invertebrate drift densities as high as 300 000/100 m3 were measured along the shoreline following reductions in discharge, both immediately after flow began to decrease and after dark on the same day. There was also more recolonization of shoreline areas and more stranding of insects following dewatering of nearshore regions when there had been sustained high discharge levels prior to the flow reduction. More insect stranding occurred during a faster rate of decrease in discharge (50 000 to 100 000 organisms m−2).