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Journal ArticleDOI

A high-resolution hydrodynamic investigation of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) redds

01 Mar 2011-River Research and Applications (Wiley)-Vol. 27, Iss: 3, pp 345-359

Abstract: High-resolution velocity measurements were taken over a series of redds on a gravel-bed stream using a Pulse Coherent Acoustic Doppler Profiler (PCADP) to quantify the hydrodynamics of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) redds. On redds studied, over 4500 velocity measurements per redd were acquired per day to quantify the flow velocity, flow depth and related fluid mechanics metrics of Reynolds numbers, Froude numbers and turbulent kinetic energy per unit area. Results showed that velocity and Froude numbers varied widely at the redd scale, but consistently showed higher velocities and Froude numbers over the tailspill regions relative to the surrounding study limits. Results of Reynolds numbers calculations showed no apparent correlations to spawning location preference and redd structure. Turbulent kinetic energy per unit area consistently demonstrated a strong correlation with redd locations. The metric maintained low values (i.e. unidirectional flow with little turbulence) where all redds and attempted redds were observed. The study also demonstrates that a number of hydraulic metrics and several spatial scales will likely be necessary to understand any inherent relationship between river hydraulics and redd placement. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Topics: Brown trout (55%), Rainbow trout (52%), Froude number (51%), Salmo (50%)

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A High-Resolution Hydrodynamic
Investigation of Brown Trout (Salmo
trutta) and Rainbow Trout
(Oncorhynchus mykiss) Redds
Mason A. Marchildon
A thesis
presented to the University of Waterloo
in fulfillment of the
thesis requirement for the degree of
Master of Applied Science
Civil Engineering
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 2009
Mason A. Marchildon 2009

I hereby declare that I am the sole author of this thesis. This is a true copy of the
thesis, including any required final revisions, as accepted by my examiners.
I understand that my thesis may be made electronically available to the public.

High-resolution velocity measurements were undertaken over a series of redds
and riffles on a gravel-bed stream to quantify the hydrodynamics preferred by
spawning brown trout (Salmo trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
for redd-site selection. On each riffle studied, over 6,000 velocity measurements
per day were acquired to quantify the velocity, depth, Reynolds number, Froude
number, bed shear, and turbulent kinetic energy per unit area of streambed in at-
tempts to relate fluid properties to redd-site selection, relative to remaining riffle
structures. Results showed that velocity, Reynolds number, and Froude number
vary widely at the redd- and riffle-scale with no apparent correlation to spawning
location preference. Turbulent kinetic energy per unit area consistently demon-
strated a strong correlation with redd locations whereby the metric maintained low
values (i.e., unidirectional flow with little turbulence) where redds and attempted
redds were observed. Habitat suitability indices were applied at the reach-, riffle-,
and redd-scale using the results of the high-resolution velocity measurements. Find-
ings demonstrated that habitat suitability indices, which are based on reach-scale
hydraulics, were adequately represented at the reach scale. However, by decreas-
ing the scale to the riffle- or redd-scale, where increasing heterogeneity in the flow
regime is revealed, habitat suitability indices failed to adequately reflect the habitat
conditions preferred by the spawning fish.

I would very much like to thank my supervisor Dr. William K. Annable for his
unrelenting support and inspiration. Without Bill, I would have never learned the
many lessons that, although difficult at the time, I now hold dearly. It definitely
takes a character like Bill’s to help fine tune a concise scientific document from my
imaginative and creative (and many times long-winded) writing style.
This work, which involved many days of field work, could not have been ac-
complished without the help of the following: Rob Amos, Pete Thompson, Michael
Fabro, Terry Ridgway, Laddie Kuta, Emanuela Ferrari, Richard Benko, and Keith
Moggach. After the many hours spent with my laptop developing the data pro-
cessing programs, I could never forget the support of Michael Faulkner and Barry
I would like to extend my thanks to Jack Imhof, whose lecture inspired me to
choose this thesis topic, and for the countless meetings and site visits. Furthermore,
I would like to thank both Andrea Dunn and Rachel Martens of Conservation Hal-
ton and Jack Griffin and Patty Asquith of the Grand River Conservation Authority
for their aid with my preliminary site visits. I would like to thank Lynn Bouvier
and Mary Finch of the American Fisheries Society-Ontario Chapter, where I was
invited to present my preliminary findings at their annual general meeting. I was
later awarded best student presentation, a merit for which I must thank Margaret
To the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the NSERC Dis-
coveries Grant Program, and Trout Unlimited Canada: Thank you for the support.
Finally, I would like to thank Allie Service for her moral support. It’s been a
long time coming.

List of Tables vii
List of Figures viii
Symbols and Nomenclature xii
1 Introduction 1
2 Background 4
2.1 Spawning and redd construction of salmon and trout . . . . . . . . 4
2.2 The selection of suitable redd sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.2.1 Redds in high-flow conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.2.2 Habitat Suitability Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.3 River morphology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.3.1 Channel roughness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
2.3.2 Sediment transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2.3.3 Boundary-layer flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3 Methodology 24
3.1 Site survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3.2 Sediment sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
3.2.1 Critical particle size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
3.3 Acoustic Doppler Profiler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
3.4 The PCADP Cage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
3.5 Post processing and analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
3.5.1 Boundary-layer profiles and local shear . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
3.5.2 Local roughness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.5.3 Turbulent kinetic energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

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"A high-resolution hydrodynamic inve..." refers background or methods in this paper

  • ...From a fluid dynamics perspective, the teardrop form is known to produce the lowest amount of drag per unit volume, as long as the fluid flow is moving along the teardrop’s principal axis (Vogel, 1994)....


  • ...Dimensionless fluid ratios have been used elsewhere to characterize lotic flow conditions important for micro-habitat selection, population density and the evolved adaptations of aquatic organisms (e.g. Leopold and Maddock, 1953; Statzner et al., 1988; Davis and Barmuta, 1989; Jowett, 1993; Newbury and Gaboury, 1993; Vogel, 1994; Allan, 1995; Giller and Malmqvist, 1998; Wadeson and Rowntree, 1998; Rempel et al., 2000; Lamouroux and Capra, 2002)....


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