Minimizing impacts of forestry on stream ecosystems requires cost-effective methods to assess stream health. The monitoring and assessment of stream condition, function, and carrying capacity for fish requires application or development of appropriate assessment indices and protocols. Indicators of condition are fundamental to establishing resource objectives for streams, and evaluating whether objectives are being met. Most commonly used indicators of stream condition relate to channel structure and instream habitat features (Bain and Stevenson 1999). While physical habitat factors are critical components of stream condition and function, the role and use of biological components in standard assessment of condition and function have been neglected, which may be a significant factor contributing to inaccurate assessment of habitat condition and juvenile salmon rearing capacity. Goals of this project are to determine which combinations of physical or biological variables are the best indicators of stream condition (in terms of capacity to support juvenile salmon), as well as the costs and benefits of data acquisition involving varying levels of effort, providing a formal basis for optimizing information gained for effort expended. Management implications are the development of better protocols for assessing stream condition and carrying capacity, and a more explicit understanding of the costs and benefits of different indicator variables.
Jordan Rosenfeld, Sandra Nicol.
Rosenfeld, Jordan S., Nicol, Sandra D.. 2006. Development of indicators of stream condition, function, and capacity for juvenile salmon: executive summary. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2006MR150