Article

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 331-358

Instream-Flow Needs for Anadromous Salmonids and Lamprey on the Pacific Coast, with Special Reference to the Pacific Southwest

  • Robert L. VadasJr.Affiliated withEnviResource Consulting Ltd.

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Abstract

This paper addresses differences in instream-flow needs (IFNs) of Pacific salmonids and lamprey across species, life stages, and stream sizes on the Pacific coast, with additional consideration of salmonid-IFN data from northern Europe. The Pacific Southwest data set was for various life stages of coho salmon and steelhead trout in small coastal streams of central and southern California. These data showed that younger life stages required less flow than adults. The Pacific Northwest data set was for spawning adults of all five salmon species and steelhead trout in Washington or northern California. These data showed that spawning salmonids required more flow, relative to mean annual flow, in smaller streams. Although these IFNs varied by species, all were much higher than IFNs to protect wetted perimeters (rearing habitat) and water quality in these streams. The high-flow guild included chinook, pink, and chum salmon, whereas the low-flow guild included coho and sockeye salmon. Steelhead were unique in showing relatively high spawning IFNs for creeks and small rivers, unlike large rivers, such that IFNs were more affected by stream size for this species than salmon.

anadromous salmon and trout migrations spawners water quality wetted perimeter younger life stages