Catchment Creation and Data Attribution for Stream Reaches in Southern Alaska: Generating Data to Facilitate Stream Research and Management
Kyle Herreman1, Jared Ross1, Dana Infante1, Wes Daniel1, Arthur Cooper1, Dan Wieferich1
1Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48823
Increasingly, research and management decisions related to stream fisheries are enhanced via data and products generated with Geographic Information Systems. Currently, the 1:63,360 National Hydrography Dataset for Alaska does not include catchments delineated for stream reaches represented in the dataset. Such spatially-attributed data allow for discrimination in the condition and potential of stream reaches and their watersheds and prove useful in various modeling efforts. Further, summaries of landscape data in reach catchments, including anthropogenic disturbances, aid managers in prioritizing various actions they may wish to take on individual reaches. For this project, we used ArcHydro workflow methods for ArcGIS to delineate catchments for southern Alaska. These methods include defining catchment boundaries using a digital elevation model, flow accumulation through catchments, and flow direction of the streams, among other factors. Following creation of catchments, our next step was to attribute them with summaries of various natural and anthropogenic landscape factors throughout the region, including: land cover, forest harvest data, road density, and locations of point source pollutants. We then summarized factors throughout network catchments using Python coding developed in our lab for each stream reach. We provide regional summaries of landscape factors to highlight the utility of our approach.