USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Northwest Research Station

 
 
 
Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service
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Creating Watershed Databases for Fish Habitat Quality and Abundance

Federal land managers are increasingly called upon to address regulatory requirements and considerations for all fish species before, during, and following any management action, including restoration activities, forestry, and wildfire planning. This has often proven difficult because of a lack of consistent, uniform environmental data bases, and of readily available analysis tools that describe all relevant watershed attributes and predict the effects of various land uses on fish habitat quality and abundance.

An economic recovery project led by Gordon Reeves of the PNW Station is being carried out under a joint venture agreement with Earth Systems Institute (ESI) of Mt. Shasta (Siskiyou County), California to develop digital map layers and data bases, and analytical watershed models (an ESI-developed system called NetMap) for 25 national forests in the Western States. The project will also assist U.S. Forest Service specialists in applying these tools to various analyses. Other partners on this work are the Forest Service Pacific Northwest and Pacific Southwest Regions.

ESI used its economic recovery funds to hire three analytical modelers and one geographical information system (GIS) technician to accomplish this project. In bringing together interrelated factors that have been identified as strongly affecting the habitat for threatened fish species, GIS coverages and watershed data bases have been assembled for 17 national forests within the Pacific Northwest Region. Training sessions have been held to assist resource specialists in carrying out landscape-scale analyses to identify and map areas with high potential for restoring fish habitat, and to assess plans for riparian area management and road networks. New analysis tools for predicting the recruitment of large wood debris to streams have been developed, and assistance provided for their application. YouTube videos that describe the use of NetMap tools to predict fish habitat attributes and road effects were also produced.

The analysis tools developed in this project are designed to have multiple applications, as illustrated in the graphic below. The screen shot shows how predictions of fish habitats and erosion potential can be exported to Google Earth to help visualize where risk to fisheries might be greatest.   The analysis tools developed in this project are designed to have multiple applications, as illustrated in the graphic below. The screen shot shows how predictions of fish habitats and erosion potential can be exported to Google Earth to help visualize where risk to fisheries might be greatest.
The analysis tools developed in this project are designed to have multiple applications, as illustrated in the graphic below. The screen shot shows how predictions of fish habitats and erosion potential can be exported to Google Earth to help visualize where risk to fisheries might be greatest.



 

 

 

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Thursday,30October2014 at12:58:10CDT


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