Ice Effects on Hydraulics and Fish Habitat
COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER NH
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In the temperature zones of the world the formation of ice in streams and rivers may have significant effects on their water depths and velocities, even when the stream discharge does not change. Velocity and water depth are among the attributes that constitute the habitat of the aquatic species that reside in the streams and rivers. Thus, to evaluate the habitat it is important to be able to characterize the effects of ice on velocity and depth. In this report I summarize the effects of river ice on hydraulic behavior, with examples meant to provide guidance in evaluating what habitats may be expected in winter comparison with non-ice conditions of the same stream. While river ice formations may be complex at the small scale of tens of meters or less, on a larger scale they are often sufficiently uniform to enable reasonable comparisons of depth and velocities with and without ice present. The emphasis here is on shallow rivers, such as the Platte River in Nebraska. The Platte is subjected to many competing demands for its flow, among which are the demands for habitat. A concern for the required winter flows was the motivation for this study.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology