There is little information on the winter features of salmonid habitats associated with constructed instream structures to provide guidance when planning habitat improvement projects. We assessed winter habitat features for trout of the genera Oncorhynchus and Salvelinus in pools associated with two types of instream structures constructed on a low-gradient reach of a mountain stream in western Wyoming with a mean wetted width of 6.4 m. Pool habitat was affected by temporal variability in ice formations from fall into winter. As surface ice and snow accumulated with the progression of winter, variation in ice formations was less frequent and winter habitat conditions became more stable. However, groundwater inflow that maintained water temperatures at 0.2-0.6??C in a portion of the study reach appeared to contribute to incomplete surface ice cover and variation in ice formations in pools through most of the winter. Hanging dams and anchor ice dams were the primary ice features that affected winter habitat in pools associated with constructed instream structures. Trout were observed in these pools in the fall but tended to abandon pools with variation in ice formations as winter progressed. The potential impacts of groundwater inflow and winter ice processes on trout habitat in pools associated with instream structures should be considered when planning habitat improvement projects. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.
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Winter ice processes and pool habitat associated with two types of constructed instream structures