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Evaluating Juvenile Salmonid Physical Habitat Use and Characteristics Using A Spatially Explicit Bioenergetics Model And Remote Underwater Video Surveys

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Title: Evaluating Juvenile Salmonid Physical Habitat Use and Characteristics Using A Spatially Explicit Bioenergetics Model And Remote Underwater Video Surveys
Author: Tweedie, John
Department: Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics
Program: Geography
Advisor: Cockburn, Jaclyn
Abstract: Understanding physical and biotic aspects of juvenile salmonid habitat is imperative to conservation and restoration efforts. Empirical weighted usable area (WUA) models have been widely adopted to assess riverine habitat suitability but suffer from over-generalized and non- transferable outputs. Directly linking biophysical conditions to metabolic responses using bioneregetics models allows highly transferable growth rate potential predictions. A coupled hydraulic and drift foraging bioenergetics model was applied to two Credit River reaches to assess the influence of channel structure on salmonid habitat. Boulders in the mid-channel sections were observed to increase flow heterogeneity and create velocity refuge and favourable feeding gradients in their wakes. Model output comparison to fish distribution data, generated using remote underwater video (RUV) techniques, indicated that fish using near-bed shear zones as refuge and vertical velocity gradients for feeding was an important behaviour discounted when utilizing depth averaged hydraulic model data.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/14273
Date: 2018-08
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