The introduction of rock-rubble substrate in rivers, to enhance fish spawning habitat, represents a significant investment in planning, permitting and construction. Where river processes deposit sediment and cover the substrate, its value as fish spawning habitat can be diminished. Therefore, it is crucial in the site se-lection process, that substrate be placed in locations that benefit the fish species of concern and, to the extent possible, ensure its longevity and ecological function. Changes in river bed elevation in these locations due to infilling by bedload sediment can be determined through serial hydrographic surveys. However, in cases where this information is sparse or unavailable, flow and sediment transport modeling can be used to calcu-late sediment mobility in the rock placement locations. In this paper we will demonstrate how these tech-niques are applied in the process of planning for the placement of rock-rubble substrate (reefs) in the Detroit River, Michigan.