We quantified patterns in stream temperature in a northern coastal California river using thermal infrared (TIR) imaging and in-stream monitoring and related temperature patterns to the historical and present distributions of juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). In Redwood Creek, California, water temperature increased from the headwaters to about 60 km downstream, then gradually decreased over the next 40 km as the river approaches the Pacific Ocean. Despite the lack of fish migration barriers, juvenile coho are currently only observed in the downstream-most 20 km, whereas historically they were found in 90 km of river channel. Maximum daily temperatures and duration of elevated stream temperatures were not significantly different in the headwater and downstream reaches but were significantly higher in the 50 km long intervening reach, where maximum weekly maximum temperatures ranged from 23 to 27??C. An increase in stream temperatures in the middle basin during the last three decades as a result of channel aggradation, widening, and the removal of large riparian conifers may play an important role in restricting juvenile coho to one-fifth of their historical range. ?? 2006 NRC.
Additional Publication Details
Assessing possible thermal rearing restrictions for juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) through thermal infrared imaging and in-stream monitoring, Redwood Creek, California
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences