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Klamath River Thermal Refugia Study

Project ID: 41
Principal Investigator: Ron Sutton
Research Topic: Ecosystem Needs
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004 and 2005
Keywords: None

Research Question

* What are the effects of various summer Iron Gate Dam flow regimes on habitat refugia in the main stem Klamath River?

Need and Benefit

To help meet its obligations to implement reasonable and prudent alternatives outlined in the National Marine Fisheries (NMFS) 2002 biological opinion (BiOp), this Science and Technology (S&T) research project addresses the following question during Phase I, as described in the BiOp:

* What are the effects of various summer Iron Gate Dam flow regimes on habitat refugia in the main stem Klamath River?

It should be understood that there are limitations to this project. First, with no control over regulated flows from Iron Gate Dam to assist with this study, there will be uncertainty about the outcome. Thus, the study needs to rely on natural hydrologic variability and existing operational flow changes and assume that there will be enough variability over the period of the study to address the question above. If test flows could be provided, more short term experimental control will be available. Otherwise, the study will need to focus on collecting most data timed with ramped changes in Iron Gate Dam releases (e.g., June 15, July 1). Also, other key variables that are beyond our control include tributary flows, meteorological factors, and biological variability. Because of these uncertainties, the study needs to be flexible. Methods may need to be modified to adapt to unexpected results that may occur.

Research outputs from this study will hopefully address how Klamath River flows affect downstream physical and biological characteristics of thermal refugia. These outputs may affect how the Klamath Project operates by suggesting how various summer flow release schedules from Iron Gate Dam affect downstream thermal refugia. This is how this research project contributes to Reclamation's mission.

Contributing Partners


Research Products

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about these documents.

This information was last updated on June 3, 2015
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