The hydraulic and sedimentary controls on the availability of Atlantic salmon spawning habitat in the river system NE Scotland

Hamish Moir, Christopher Soulsby, A. Youngson

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63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The hydraulic and sedimentary characteristics of the spawning habitat of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in tributary and mainstem locations in a river system in north-east Scotland are described. Salmon used spawning sites with a relatively wide range in sediment characteristics, although measures of central tendency were all in the gravel (2-64 mm) size-class. The dominant factor differentiating the sediment characteristics of study sites was the level of fine sediment, which accounted for significant differences between tributary and mainstem samples. The ranges of depth and velocity in areas used for spawning by salmonids were found to be similar in all tributary study sites. However, due to the interdependence of depth and velocity, major differences were observed between tributary and mainstem study sites in that spawning in larger streams tended to be associated with deeper, faster flowing water. Spawning locations were shown to have similar Froude number, despite different sized streams and species of salmonid. Due to its dimensionless nature and significance in characterising flow hydraulics, the Froude number is proposed as a potentially useful variable for describing the habitat of aquatic organisms. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-308
Number of pages17
JournalGeomorphology
Volume45
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Atlantic salmon
  • spawning
  • sediments
  • river hydraulics
  • aquatic habitat
  • Scotland
  • REDD-SITE SELECTION
  • BROWN TROUT
  • CHINOOK SALMON
  • BED RIVER
  • MANAGEMENT
  • MORPHOLOGY
  • CRITERIA
  • STREAM
  • FLOW

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