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Methods for and fish responses to channel remeandering and large wood structure placement in the Shibetsu River Restoration Project in northern Japan

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Abstract

The Shibetsu River Restoration Project intends to reestablish a historic meander pattern by connecting a 3.5-km channelized reach with a series of oxbow lakes that were previously isolated by channel straightening. Prior to full-scale construction, a remeandering experiment (pilot) was conducted upstream of the project segment to assess the methods for and ecological responses to channel remeandering. Large wood (LW) structures were also installed in the experimental remeandering reach. The channel remeandering project with LW placement in a large lowland river is the first undertaken in Asia, and it has rarely been undertaken elsewhere. In this report, we present an overview of the Shibetsu River Restoration Project and the methods for and fish responses to channel remeandering and LW placement in the experiment.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the Kushiro Development and Construction Department, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport for promoting the Shibetsu River Restoration Project, to N. Ueda and Y. Aiuchi for assistance with field survey, and to H. Iwase and K. Narita for technical assistance with the placement of LW. We also would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on the manuscript. The research on fish responses to river restoration in the Shibetsu River in this report was supported by the fund for the “River Ecology Research Group of Japan” on the Shibetsu River and by Grants in Aid for Scientific Research (Nos. 17380100, 18201008, and 19208013) from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture, Japan. This report was also supported by the River Fund in charge of the Foundation of River and Watershed Environment Management (FORREM), Japan.

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Correspondence to Shigeya Nagayama.

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Nagayama, S., Kawaguchi, Y., Nakano, D. et al. Methods for and fish responses to channel remeandering and large wood structure placement in the Shibetsu River Restoration Project in northern Japan. Landscape Ecol Eng 4, 69–74 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11355-008-0039-2

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Keywords

  • Ecosystem management
  • Fish habitat
  • Rehabilitation
  • Meandering river
  • Sinuous channel
  • Woody debris