Subyearling fall chinook salmon's Oncorhynchus tshawytscha use of unaltered and riprap habitats in Lake Wallula of the Columbia River was determined with point abundance data collected by electrofishing in May 1994 and 1995. We documented the presence or absence of subyearlings at 277 sample sites and collected physical habitat information at each site. Based on logistic regression, we found that the probability of fish presence was greater in unaltered shoreline habitats than in riprap habitats. Substrate size was the most important factor in determining fish presence, with dominant substrates larger than 256 mm having the lowest probability of fish presence. Water velocity, also included in our model due to its biological importance, was not a significant factor affecting presence or absence (P = 0.1102). The correct prediction rate of fish presence or absence in our sample sites using cross validation was 67%. Our model showed that substrate was the most important factor determining subyearling habitat use, but the model did not include other habitat variables known to be important to subyearlings in more diverse systems. We suggest that resource managers consider alternative methods of bank stabilization that are compatible with the habitat requirements of the fish that use them.
Additional publication details
Comparison of subyearling fall chinook salmon's use of riprap revetments and unaltered habitats in Lake Wallula of the Columbia river