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Natural Siltation of Brown Trout (Salmo trutta L.) Spawning Gravels During Low-Flow Conditions

  • P. A. Carling
  • C. P. McCahon

Abstract

Deposits of gravel in upland streams are a valuable ecological resource used by salmonid fish for spawning. Most of these gravels exhibit two distinct modes in the grain-size distribution. Generally the coarse mode is dominant and forms the framework of the deposit whilst a secondary mode, referred to as the matrix, consists of finer sediments (Carling & Reader 1982) which fill or partially fill the interstitial spaces between the framework particles. These fine sediments, if present in sufficient quantity, will cause a reduction in porosity and hydrostatic permeability, so that the volume of water held within the deposit and the intragravel velocity will be reduced. Consequently, oxygen supply-rates to fish eggs and the rate of removal of metabolic waste products will fall; possibly to lethal levels. Although some of these latter aspects have been investigated (Milner et al. 1981) the mechanisms by which bimodal gravel deposits form are poorly understood. Gravels characterized by an absence of matrix are termed open-work gravels (Cary 1951). Deposition of coarse and fine sediments may occur contemporaneously but this is not common (Fraser 1935); usually such deposits are characterised by a dilated framework whereby the matrix forms at least 20 to 30% of the deposit and would require a sudden reduction in sediment transport energy to develop (Dyer 1972). More usually in fluvial systems subject to steady changes in transportation energy, coarse particles are deposited first whilst fine material is held in suspension. Consequently the matrix in bimodal deposits usually fills the void space within the coarse deposit by a process of secondary infiltration of the stable bed (Smith 1974).

Keywords

Deposition Rate Suspended Sediment Brown Trout Fine Sediment Suspend Sediment Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. A. Carling
    • 1
  • C. P. McCahon
    • 1
  1. 1.Freshwater Biological AssociationThe Ferry HouseAmbleside, CumbriaUK

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