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WWRC 89-33
Status of Instream Flow Legislation and Practices in North America

Abstract

This paper presents the results of two nonstatistical surveys (completed in 1981 and 1986) that solicited information from state and federal agencies concerning instream flow issues and practices in North America. Forty-six states and 12 Canadian provinces responded to the survey. Fifteen of the 46 states reported legislative recognition of instream flows for fisheries protection. In Canada, individual provinces generally lacked instream flow legislation, although federal legislation existed that could be used. The most commonly applied method (in use in 38 states or provinces) for assessing instream flow requirements, as reported in the survey, was the Fish and Wildlife Service Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM). Major research needs cited by survey respondents included (1) more species habitat information and preference curves, (2) techniques for determining instream flows for atypical conditions, and (3) testing of fish habitat: flow: production relationships.


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