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Aquatic biology of the Redwood Creek and Mill Creek drainage basins, Redwood National Park, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, California

Open-File Report 81-143

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Abstract

A 2-year study of the aquatic biota in the Redwood Creek and Mill Creek drainage basins of Redwood National Park indicated that the aquatic productivity is low. Densities of coliform bacteria were low except in Prairie Creek, a tributary to Redwood Creek, where a State park, county fish hatchery, grazing land, lumber mill, and scattered residential areas are potential sources of fecal coliform bacteria. Benthic invertebrate data indicated a diverse fauna which varied considerably between streams and among stream sections. Noteworthy findings include: (1) benthic invertebrates rapidly recolonized the streambed following a major storm, and (2) man-caused disruption or sedimentation of the streambed during low flow can result in drastic reductions of the benthic invertebrate community. Seven species of fish representing species typically found in northern California coastal streams were captured during the study. Nonparametric statistical tests indicate that condition factors of steelhead trout were significantly larger at sampling stations with more insolation, regardless of drainage basin land-use history. Periphyton and phytoplankton communities were diverse, variable in numbers, and dominated by diatoms. Seston concentrations were extremely variable between stations and at each station sampled. The seston is influenced seasonally by aquatic productivity at each station and amount of allochthonous material from the terrestrial ecosystem. Time-series analysis of some seston data indicated larger and sharper peak concentrations being flushed from the logged drainage basin than from the control drainage basin. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Aquatic biology of the Redwood Creek and Mill Creek drainage basins, Redwood National Park, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, California
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
81-143
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1981
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 122 p. ;28 cm.