Baseline Scientific Study
To determine whether large wood (LW, 1-m length, 10-cm diameter) plays a role in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) redd (i.e. egg nest) placements in a regulated, Mediterranean-climate, medium-sized river (where channel width is less than the upper quartile of length of potential instream wood pieces), characteristics of 527 large wood pieces, locations of 650 redds, and mesohabitat delineations (riffle, run, glide, pool) were collected during a spawning season along a 7.7 km reach directly below Camanche Dam on the Mokelumne River, CA. LW was regularly distributed across the study reach an average 70 LW pieces km-1. Some LW clustering was evident at islands and meander bends. Spawners built 85% of redds within one average channel width (31 m) of LW. Spawners utilized LW within a 10m radius 36% of the time in the upper 3 km rehabilitated reach, and 44% of the time in the lower 4.7 km marginal habitat reach. A greater percentage of LW was utilized in riffles in the upper 3 km reach where 90% of redds were built, while a larger percentage of spawners used LW in riffles in the lower 4.7 km reach. LW-redd interactions occurred at greater rates than by random chance alone in the lower 4.7 km reach, which implies that LW aids spawning in marginal habitats. River managers and salmonid spawning habitat rehabilitation (SHR) projects should take LW additions into consideration as an important component of river rehabilitation.
- Senter, A. E. and Pasternack, G. B. 2010. Large wood aids spawning Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in marginal habitat on a regulated river in California. River Research and Applications, DOI: 10.1002/rra.1388.
Construction of a Streamwood Jam
Based on the findings of this study, our lab group worked with biolgoists at EBMUD and a construction contractor to build a streamwood jam on the lower Mokelumne River.