Hydraulic Geometry and Fish Habitat in Semi-Alluvial Bedrock Controlled Rivers

Title: Hydraulic Geometry and Fish Habitat in Semi-Alluvial Bedrock Controlled Rivers
Authors: Ferguson, Sean
Date: 2016
Abstract: The cross-sectional form of semi-alluvial bedrock channels was investigated. Channel geometry data were collected from a variety of streams in Ontario and Québec, Canada to develop empirical downstream scaling relationships. The relationships revealed that bedrock, mixed, and alluvial channels scale at similar rates with respect to discharge. The widest channels were formed in low-relief sedimentary bedrock with minimal alluvial cover. Channels influenced by resistant igneous/metamorphic bedrock produced a strong scaling relationship, whereas channels influenced by weak sedimentary bedrock produced a weak scaling relationship. Alluvial cover appeared to exhibit more control on channel width in low-relief settings in comparison to high-relief settings, with increased alluvial cover promoting channel narrowing. Channels influenced by igneous/metamorphic bedrock produced identifiable thalwegs, presumably due to well-defined bedload transport pathways. Channels influenced by sedimentary bedrock tended to have planar beds. Additionally, fish habitat was investigated at one semi-alluvial bedrock stream in Ontario, Canada. Fish sampling was conducted at proximate bedrock and alluvial sections followed by a survey of physical habitat parameters to evaluate habitat preferences. Adult logperch (Percina caprodes), juvenile white sucker (Catostomus commersonii), adult round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), and adult longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae) demonstrated preference toward alluvial substrate, whereas juvenile logperch and adult banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) demonstrated preference toward bedrock. Juvenile silver shiner (Notropis photogenis) and juvenile yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were indifferent to substrate type. Empirical depth and flow velocity habitat suitability indices (HSIs) were developed for each fish species. This study presents the first fish habitat suitability criteria developed from a small semi-alluvial bedrock stream and may provide valuable information for fisheries management endeavours in such environments.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35313
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -