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Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5016

Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation

Dispersal of Larval Suckers at the Williamson River Delta, Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, 2006–09

By Tamara M. Wood, U.S. Geological Survey, Heather A. Hendrixson, The Nature Conservancy, Douglas F. Markle, Oregon State University, Charles S. Erdman, The Nature Conservancy, Summer M. Burdick, U.S. Geological Survey, Craig M. Ellsworth, U.S. Geological Survey, and Norman L. Buccola, U.S. Geological Survey

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.8 MB)Abstract

An advection/diffusion modeling approach was used to simulate the transport of larval suckers from spawning areas in the Williamson River, through the newly restored Williamson River Delta, to Upper Klamath Lake. The density simulations spanned the years of phased restoration, from 2006/2007 prior to any levee breaching, to 2008 when the northern part of the delta was reconnected to the lake, and 2009 when levees on both sides of the delta had been breached. Model simulation results from all four years were compared to field data using rank correlation. Spearman ρ correlation coefficients were usually significant and in the range 0.30 to 0.60, providing moderately strong validation of the model. The correlation coefficients varied with fish size class in a way that suggested that the model best described the distribution of smaller fish near the Williamson River channel, and larger fish away from the channel. When Lost River and shortnose/Klamath largescale suckers were simulated independently, the correlation results suggested that the model better described the transport and dispersal of the latter species. The incorporation of night-time-only drift behavior in the Williamson River channel neither improved nor degraded correlations with field data. The model showed that advection by currents is an important factor in larval dispersal.

First posted April 2, 2012

For additional information contact:
Director, Oregon Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2130 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201

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Suggested citation:

Wood, T.M., Hendrixson, H.A., Markle, D.F., Erdman, C.S., Burdick, S.M., Ellsworth, C.M., and Buccola, N.L., 2012, Dispersal of larval suckers at the Williamson River Delta, Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, 2006–09: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5016, 28 p.

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