Hinkle Study

The Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed study examines the effects of contemporary forest management practices and best management practices on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of small streams with and without fish. Biological studies research the effect of watershed health on amphibians, fish, and invertebrates.

The Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study was conducted on lands owned by Roseburg Forest Products (RFP). The study includes a control watershed, the North Fork of Hinkle Creek with two reference headwater basins, and a treatment watershed, the South Fork with four treatment headwater basins. The calibration phase ran from 2002 to 2005. The first harvest consisted of five management units adjacent to non-fish bearing sections of the stream 2005-2006. The first period of post-treatment data collection occurred from 2006 until the study ended in 2011. The second treatment occurred during 2008-2009 and consisted of four management units adjacent to fish-bearing stream reaches. Post-treatment data collection continued until the study ended in 2011.

The research approach employed a large number of sensors including passive integrated transponders, which allow daily and seasonal tracking of the movement of fish using stationary readers as well as mobile antenna. Detailed and continuous measurement of discharge, temperature, and sediment load at spatially explicit locations put the movement of the fish into a physical context. Finally, GIS allowed the spatially dynamic interactions between the physical and biological phenomena to be described.

A hydro shed crushed by a flood in 2008 is a reminder of the power and unpredictability of these streams.