A new method to identify the fluvial regimes used by spawning salmonids

Hamish J. Moir, Christopher N. Gibbins, John M. Buffington, John H. Webb, Chris Soulsby, Mark J. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Basin physiography and fluvial processes structure the availability of salmonid spawning habitat in river networks. However, methods that allow us to explicitly link hydrologic and geomorphic processes to spatial patterns of spawning at scales relevant to management are limited. Here we present a method that can be used to link the abundance of spawning salmonids to fluvial processes at the mesoscale. We show that the frequency of spawning activity at individual morphological units (riffles, pools, runs) is quantitatively related to a number of fluvial parameters. Of these, bankfull excess shear stress (tau(xs)) was the best predictor of spawning frequency. Results suggest that tau(xs) can be used to represent the fluvial regimes that spawning salmon are responsive to as well as to assess the likely impacts of altered flow regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1404-1408
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


  • salar
  • discharge


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