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Project ID:2006MT106B

Title:: Student fellowship: The effects of overwinter dewatering on brown trout redds and egg survival in a Montana creek

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 06/30/2007

Congressional District: At large

Focus Categories: Ecology, Water Supply, Conservation

Keywords: brown trout, dewatering, Montana, Warm Springs Creek

Principal Investigator: Watson, Vicki

Federal Funds: $ 2,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 0

Abstract: In Montana and other parts of the arid west, diversion of water can create environmental challenges for downstream fish populations. Many diversions take place over the summer months, primarily for crop irrigation. Some are year-round, including the fall and winter months when instream flows are naturally reduced. The latter can have particular implications for fish that spawn in the autumn, such as the brown trout, by reducing water levels with a potentially critical effect on environmental parameters essential to trout egg survival. This two-year study will examine the effects of an overwinter diversion on brown trout egg redds in Warm Springs Creek, Montana. Three years ago, a local industry began a year-round diversion of water from Warm Springs Creek. The diversion of water noticeably lowers stage and streamflow levels in the spawning areas of the creek during the fall and winter months, which are critical to brown trout spawning and egg development. This fall and winter, 2005-2006, there will not be an overwinter diversion of water. Next winter, this diversion will resume.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Thursday, January 03, 2008
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