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Canadian River Ecological Streamflows and Climate Projections

In cooperation with the South Central Climate Science Center
Contact: William J. Andrews, Ph.D.

Background

Climate change is likely to affect streamflows and water temperatures, affecting biota that reside in streams. Species responses to climate change are likely to be complex and studies that assess and predict these responses in environmentally sensitive areas are vital for protection of aquatic species and management of surface-water resources.

Objectives

This project will analyze historical streamflow patterns and predict streamflows in the future for selected locations in the Canadian River Basin. This project will identify the linkages between ecology, streamflow, climate change, and precipitation. The predicted effects of climate change on these characteristics will be communicated to water managers, policy makers, public, and the state and federal agencies that manage and operate the water bodies and ecosystems in the Canadian River basin. This project will provide information needed to ensure the sustainability of aquatic wildlife and investigate how climate change may affect surface-water resources and aquatic species.

Update for Third Quarter, Fiscal Year 2015

  • Data-management plan developed
  • Loads and trends of selected biologically relevant constituents were compiled
  • Vflo models are nearing calibration
  • Streamflow/ecological flow modeling in progress
  • Compilation of historical ecological data in progress

Products

All products are planned to be available by the end of this two year project near the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015. Deliverables for will include: (1) measured and predicted streamflows, (2) fish habitat datasets, (3) long-term water-quality trends, and (4) characterization of ecological flows at selected sites in this basin. All end-product datasets from this project will be made publicly available. Additionally, a public outreach campaign will be launched to disseminate major results to the general public. Finally, papers describing study methods and results will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals.

Assessing changes in fish traits and water quality in a large Great Plains River
Presentation: Assessing changes in fish traits and water quality in a large Great Plains River" by S.K. Brewer, T.A. Worthington, R. Mollenhauer, and W. Andrews, a presentation for the 144th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, August 17-21, 2014
Abstract: Brewer, Shannon, Worthington, Thomas, Mollenhauer, Robert, and Andrews, William, 2014, Assessing changes in fish traits and water quality in a large Great Plains river: American Fisheries Society, 144th Annual Meeting, August 17-21, 2014, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, available at https://afs.confex.com/afs/2014/webprogram/Paper14496.html.

Location of the spatial analysis fish community sites in the study area
Figure 1. Location of the spatial analysis fish community sites in the study area

Location of the temporal analysis fish community sites in the study area
Figure 2. Location of the temporal analysis fish community sites in the study area

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