Comparing Stream Restoration Project Effectiveness Using a Programmatic Evaluation of Salmonid Habitat and Fish Response

Document Details:

Title: Comparing Stream Restoration Project Effectiveness Using a Programmatic Evaluation of Salmonid Habitat and Fish Response
Category: Academic Article
File: ONeal-et-al_2016_0465_Comparing-Stream-Restoration-Project-Effectiveness-Using-a-Programmatic-Evaluation.pdf
Updated Date: 20.04.2018
Author(s)/Source(s): Jennifer S. O’Neal, Phil Roni, Bruce Crawford, Anna Ritchie & Alice Shelly
Publication Date: 2016-Jun-06
Focal Topic: Salmon, Habitat Restoration
Location: United States

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on stream restoration projects to benefit salmonids and other aquatic species across the Pacific Northwest, though only a small percentage of these projects are monitored to evaluate effectiveness and far fewer are tracked for more than 1 or 2 years. The Washington State Salmon Recovery Board and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board have spent more than US$500 million on salmonid habitat restoration projects since 1999. We used a multiple before-after–control-impact design to programmatically evaluate the reach-scale physical and biological effectiveness of a subset of restoration actions. A total of 65 projects in six project categories (fish passage, instream habitat, riparian planting, livestock exclusion, floodplain enhancement, and habitat protection) were monitored over an 8-year period. We conducted habitat, fish, and macroinvertebrate surveys to calculate the following indicators: longitudinal pool cross section and depth, riparian shade and cover, large woody debris volumes, fish density, macroinvertebrate indices, and upland vegetation condition class. Results indicate that four categories (instream habitat, livestock exclusions, floodplain enhancements, and riparian plantings) have shown significant improvements in physical habitat after 5 years. Abundance of juvenile Coho Salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch increased significantly at fish passage projects and floodplain enhancement projects, but significant results were not detected for other fish species. Moreover, the
biological response indicators of juvenile salmonid abundance and macroinvertebrate indices showed declines at instream habitat and habitat protection projects, respectively.

Keyword Tags:
Stream Restoration, Effectiveness, Salmonid Habitat, Fish Response