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Session B2 - Assessing fish passage connectivity at the watershed scale: Truckee River case study

Abstract
Traditionally, fish passage engineers, restoration practitioners, and environmental managers have focused assessments of alternatives and benefits at a single site. Effective restoration of populations in many fragmented systems, strategic allocation of resources, and prioritized sequencing of passage and related restoration efforts often demand larger scale tools that recognize benefit dependencies among actions at multiple sites and that effectively compare alternatives that target multiple species, age classes, bi-directional movements, and even non-passage goals. This presentation discusses one such approach that was developed in a rapid time frame with a diverse technical and stakeholder group to assess fish passage alternatives at 17 barriers in the Truckee River in Nevada for a guild of native species. Currently, we are developing a more flexible and powerful generic model borrowing from landscape ecology techniques and utilizing graph-theoretic algorithms to assess system-wide connectivity for fish passage problems, compare alternatives, and predict benefits. The case study is meant to demonstrate the potential value of watershed-scale analytical tools, solicit input on alternative techniques, and identify strengths and weaknesses in efforts to restore connectivity at sub-basin or basin scales.
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Date
2012-06-05
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