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WWRC 90-13
Methods for Assessing the Impacts of Sediment Deposition on the Survival to Emergence of Colorado River Cutthroat Trout and Brown Trout


Several tools have been developed to evaluate the survival of salmonid eggs and alevins during incubation in the streambed relative to the proportion of fine sediment in the stream (Chapman 1988). Models, such as the one by Stowell et al. (1983) for Idaho batholith watersheds, have been linked with sediment-yield models (Cline et al. 1987) to predict survival from egg deposition to emergence in response to sediment yield within the basin.

Our work focused on the development of assessment tools for use in southeastern Wyoming on relatively small streams in forested watersheds with populations of small- to moderate-sized resident trout. We developed field-sampling techniques and strategies, as well as relations between substrate composition and survival to emergence of trout. We believe that our work has produced useful insight as to when, where, and how to sample substrate in streambeds, as well as a reasonable set of assessment tools for evaluating the impact of sediment on survival to emergence of resident trout.

We initiated this project in 1986 with funding from both the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Field and laboratory assistance was provided by P. Anderson, J. Bobbitt, L. Dolan, C. Goertler, J. Jenniges, C. Klingen, D. Lanning, B. Rhodine, and S. Wolff. Technical and administrative help was given by T. Annear, H. Bergman, T. Bjornn, M. Bozek, W. Bradshaw, D. Chapman, J. Dodd, F. Everest, P. Eschmeyer, L Frary, V. Hasfurther, K. Koski, D. Logan, R. Marston, F. Rahel, D. Reiser, R. Schmal, M. Stone, G. Vogt, and R. Wiley. Additional support was provided by the Wyoming Water Research Center, the Department of Civil Engineering, the Department of Range Management, and the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming, as well as the U.S. Geological Survey.

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