Monitoring Detritus Deposition and Scour Downstream of Minidoka Dam with Implications to Snake River Physa Snail Habitat and Irrigation Canals.
This project will study the impact of sedimentation and detritus production on the endangered species Snake River Physa Snail (Physa). This snail lives in the spillway channel below Minidoka dam. It is theorized that deposition of detritus is creating anoxic conditions detrimental to survival of the species. The scope of proposed study includes a collaborative effort to monitor sediment entrainment and transport, measure local flow velocities, and relate the effects on the ecology to dam operations.
Need and Benefit
Transport and fate of organic material is being linked to the decline of an endangered species and to sedimentation issues in Reclamation infrastructure. There is a lack of understanding of the underlying physical and biological processes at hand, hindering our ability to objectively address the problem. A multifaceted approach to monitoring the hydraulics, sediment dynamics, and population response is needed to develop and test hypotheses of causal effects and how to better manage the system.
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