54-10 Forecasting fish response to levee repair features of the Sacramento River bank protection project

Thursday, September 16, 2010: 11:20 AM
305 (Convention Center)
Brian M. Mulvey , Sacramento District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento, CA
David L. Smith, PhD , Cognitive Ecology and Ecohydraulics Team, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS
Robert Abbott, PhD , Environ, Emeryville, CA
Michael L. Dietl , Sacramento District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento, CA
The Sacramento River Bank Protection Project protects more than 1700 kilometers of levees and flood control facilities. A key component of the levee repair work is the incorporation of environmental features that restore riparian habitat function.  Presently, the primary tool for planning the incorporation of these features is the Standard Assessment Methodology (SAM), which uses field data, along with riparian and geomorphologic models to assess project impacts, but there still remains uncertainty regarding the function and value of the incorporated features for benefiting target fish species. To improve the assessment ability of SAM and better understand the benefits of the constructed habitat features, we are collecting two-dimensional fish movement data using acoustic tags, and developing models supporting the use of Eularian Lagrangian Agent Method (ELAM).  The ELAM extends the use of computational fluid dynamics models because virtual fish are released inside the model field where they can react to habitat alterations such as levee repairs.  The fish movement tracking data helps calibrate and validate ELAM output, which can be used to model results for producing site-specific habitat suitability curves. These curves were incorporated into the SAM to improve assessment and forecasting capabilities, and the planning and execution of ecological projects.
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