Effects of stream-adjacent logging in fishless headwaters on downstream coastal cutthroat trout

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
By: , and 

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Abstract

To investigate effects of headwater logging on downstream coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) populations, we monitored stream habitat and biotic indicators including biomass, abundance, growth, movement, and survival over 8 years using a paired-watershed approach. Reference and logged catchments were located on private industrial forestland on ∼60-year harvest rotation. Five clearcuts (14% of the logged catchment area) were adjacent to fishless portions of the headwater streams, and contemporary regulations did not require riparian forest buffers in the treatment catchment. Logging did not have significant negative effects on downstream coastal cutthroat trout populations for the duration of the sample period. Indeed, the only statistically significant response of fish populations following logging in fishless headwaters was an increase in late-summer biomass (g·m−2) of age-1+ coastal cutthroat trout in tributaries. Ultimately, the ability to make broad generalizations concerning effects of timber harvest is difficult because response to disturbance (anthropogenically influenced or not) in aquatic systems is complex and context-dependent, but our findings provide one example of environmentally compatible commercial logging in a regenerated forest setting.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effects of stream-adjacent logging in fishless headwaters on downstream coastal cutthroat trout
Series title Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
DOI 10.1139/cjfas-2015-0455
Volume 73
Issue 12
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher NRC Research Press
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 16 p.
First page 1898
Last page 1913
Country United States
State Oregon
County Douglas County
Other Geospatial Hinkle Creek