Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Fall 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Dr. Paul James

Second Committee Member

Dr. Clay Arango

Third Committee Member

Dr. Daniel Beck

Abstract

Studies on the movement of salmonids in the Pacific Northwest have been vital to their management and recovery. Salmonids can move great distances in search of food, habitat and potential mates, requiring them to travel through a range of different habitat types. Altered and degraded streams may restrict native salmonid use and access to habitat within or beyond urban areas. Locally, restoring native salmonids to streams in urbanized areas is of interest to recovery efforts. However, there is a lack of information in the literature on how salmonids use and navigate urbanized streams. This study used Passive Integrated Transponders (PIT-tags) to monitor the movement and habitat use of two salmonid species (Salvelinus fontinalis and Oncorhynchus mykiss) in an urban section of Wilson Creek, located in Ellensburg, Washington. Salmonids ranged in length from 72-256 mm and were observed over an eight month period. A 710 m study site included five fragmented sections of open stream, separated by five buried stream sections of varying lengths. Salmonid activity varied seasonally, and individual movement ranged from 0 - 700 m over the course of the study. The results of this study demonstrated that most low gradient buried steam sections were navigable by salmonids. However, large buried sections of stream impede the movement of salmonids. Additionally, habitat quality was assessed within the five open stream sections, which ranged from highly degraded, channelized areas to a restored meandering section. Data on salmonid densities and the diversity of the fish community demonstrate that small scale restoration projects can benefit the aquatic community.

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