Study

Effectiveness of habitat manipulation for wild salmonids in Wyoming streams

  • Published source details Binns N.A. (2004) Effectiveness of habitat manipulation for wild salmonids in Wyoming streams. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 24, 911-921.

Summary

Habitat manipulation may be used in an attempt to enhance stocks of fluvial trout (Oncorhynchus, Salmo and Salvelinus spp.) but the effectiveness of such management is often uncertain or unknown.

In order to assess the efficacy of instream habitat manipulations, wild trout abundance and biomass was recorded, before and after manipulations, among 30 projects undertaken by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (USA).

Abundance and biomass of trout increased following habitat manipulation in most cases. Excessive angler harvest was considered to have prevented an increase in three projects, and drought hindered fish response in one stream. Cover for trout and pool depth (both considered beneficial habitat characteristics) significantly increased following manipulations. Bank erosion decreased with the exception of one project where intense cattle grazing degraded the habitat structures. Both timber and log check dams consistently produced good pools but rock dams did not. These results demonstrate that well-built, properly located and properly maintained instream structures can enhance salmonid habitat and in so doing, increase fish stocks.

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