Headwater streams

Local & Downstream Impacts of Contemporary Forest Harvesting Practices on Watershed Hydrology
Zègre, N.

This study measured the impacts of two harvest entries on the monthly streamflow and other measures of the streams below and adjacent to harvest.  Statistically significant increases in sediment yield, as suspended sediment, were detected as a consequence of timber harvest in the South Fork Hinkle Creek. These increases were detected at the small, headwater watershed scale as well as the large watershed scale. Unlike the increases in water yield, these increases were not consistent with the literature. The results of the seminal paired watershed studies showed very large increases in sediment yield, often as much as two or three times greater than sediment yields before timber harvest. The results from contemporary forest practices are much more muted and the increases are in the range of 20 to 30 percent increases in sediment yield. The increases are in order with and correlate well with the increases in water yield. That the increases in sediment yield are a result of increased stream power due to increases in water yield is a reasonable hypothesis to put forward to explain these observations. The greatest improvement in forest practices over the past several decades were directed toward reducing the impacts of timber harvest on sediment yield. These improvements include; clearcut size limits and adjacency constraints, improved yarding systems (in this case slackline, skyline cable systems), the prescription of buffer strips, and changes in site preparation practices.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS: Streamflow, peak flow, Harvesting effects, timber harvest, Headwater streams
Transferability of Models to Predict Selection of Cover by Coastal Cutthroat Trout in Small Streams in Western Oregon, USA
Andersen, H.V.

We assessed use and selection of cover by coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkia clarkii) in six headwater streams in three watersheds in western Oregon, USA during the summer low flow period from 1 August and September 30, 2007. We tagged 1037 coastal cutthroat trout (>100 mm) with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags across all streams. Selection of cover was analyzed by comparing characteristics of locations used for concealment by relocated fish relative to characteristics of randomly available habitat that could be used for concealment. We measured habitat characteristics for 190 relocated individual fish using cover and 797 randomly points potentially available as cover. Of the latter points, only 235 of 797 were potential cover, based on characteristics of cover actually used by fish. Coastal cutthroat trout used substrate as cover (78%) more often than all other cover types combined (22%). Availability of different cover types was variable, but overall substrate made up 92% of available cover and the remaining 8% represented all other cover types combined. Habitat characteristics measured for both used and available cover included depth at fish location (cm), surface area of cover (m2), proximity to depth of 20 cm for fish located in < 20 cm in depth, b-axis (mm) for substrate >2 mm, and distance under substrate. Each of these habitat characteristics was different for used and available cover.

DISCIPLINE: Fisheries    STUDY: Alsea, Hinkle Creek, Trask    TYPE: Theses    TAGS: coastal cutthroat trout, cover, substrate, habitat selection, Headwater streams, PIT tags, transferability
The Influence of Contemporary Forest Harvesting on Summer Stream Temperatures in Headwater Streams of Hinkle Creek, Oregon
Kibler, K. M.

Stream temperature is a water quality parameter that directly influences the quality of aquatic habitat, particularly for cold-water species such as Pacific salmonids. RMAs that contain overstory merchantable conifers are not required for small non-fish-bearing streams in Oregon, thus there is potential for increases in stream temperature to occur in headwater streams and concern that increases in stream temperatures and changes to onsite processes in these streams may propagate downstream and impair habitat in fish-bearing streams. The objectives of this work are to assess the effects of contemporary forest management practices on stream temperatures of small non-fish-bearing headwater streams and to develop new knowledge regarding the physical processes that control reach-level stream temperature patterns. Summer stream temperatures were measured for five years in six headwater streams in the Hinkle Creek basin in southern Oregon. After four years, four of the streams were harvested and vegetated RMAs were not left between the streams and harvest units. The watersheds of the two remaining streams were not disturbed. Post-harvest stream temperatures were monitored for one year in all six streams. Each harvested stream was paired with one unharvested stream and regression relationships for maximum, minimum and mean daily stream temperatures were developed.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Theses    TAGS: Stream temperature, forest harvesting, Riparian Management Areas (RMAs), Headwater streams, Canopy closure, logging slash
Effect of contemporary forest harvesting practices on headwater stream temperatures: Initial response of the Hinkle Creek catchment, Pacific Northwest
Kibler Kelly M., Skaugset, Arne, Ganio, Lisa M., Huso, Manuela M.

We investigated the effect of contemporary forest harvesting practices on warm-season thermal regimes of headwater streams using a Before-After-Control-Intervention (BACI) design within a nested, paired watershed study. We applied harvesting treatments to four headwater tributaries of Hinkle Creek, designed in accordance with the Oregon Forest Practices Act. Therefore, fixed-width buffer strips containing overstory merchantable trees were not left adjacent to the four non-fish-bearing streams. The summer following harvesting, we observed a variable temperature response across the four harvested streams. Mean maximum daily stream temperatures ranged from 1.5 C cooler to 1.0 C warmer relative to pre-harvest years. We also observed significantly lower minimum and mean daily stream temperatures, and recorded particularly low temperatures in treatment streams on days that minimum stream temperatures in reference streams were high. At the watershed scale, we did not observe cumulative stream temperature effects related to harvesting 14% of the watershed area in multiple, spatially-distributed harvest units across four headwater catchments. At the watershed outlet, we observed no change to maximum, mean, or minimum daily stream temperatures. We attribute the lack of consistent temperature increases in headwater streams to shading provided by a layer of logging slash that deposited over the streams during harvesting, and to increased summer baseflows.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Journal Articles    TAGS: Stream temperature, Forest management, Canopy closure, Impact assessment, Headwater streams, Cumulative effects, Hinkle, Oregon, Paired Watershed, Forest Hydrology
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