In 2007, the U.S. Geological Survey, Watercourse Engineering, and the Bureau of Reclamation began a project to construct and calibrate a water quality and hydrodynamic model of the 21-mile reach of the Klamath River from Link River Dam to Keno Dam. To provide a basis for this work, data collection and experimental work were planned for 2007 and 2008. This report documents sampling and analytical methods and presents data from the first year of work. To determine water velocities and discharge, a series of cross-sectional acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) measurements were made on the mainstem and four canals on May 30 and September 19, 2007. Water quality was sampled weekly at five mainstem sites and five tributaries from early April through early November, 2007. Constituents reported here include field parameters (water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen concentration, specific conductance); total nitrogen and phosphorus; particulate carbon and nitrogen; filtered orthophosphate, nitrite, nitrite plus nitrate, ammonia, organic carbon, iron, silica, and alkalinity; specific UV absorbance at 254 nm; phytoplankton and zooplankton enumeration and species identification; and bacterial abundance and morphological subgroups.
The ADCP measurements conducted in good weather conditions in May showed that four major canals accounted for most changes in discharge along the mainstem on that day. Direction of velocity at measured locations was fairly homogeneous across the channel, while velocities were generally lowest near the bottom, and highest near surface, ranging from 0.0 to 0.8 ft/s. Measurements in September, made in windy conditions, raised questions about the effect of wind on flow.
Most nutrient and carbon concentrations were lowest in spring, increased and remained elevated in summer, and decreased in fall. Dissolved nitrite plus nitrate and nitrite had a different seasonal cycle and were below detection or at low concentration in summer. Many nutrient and carbon concentrations were similar at the top and bottom of the water column, though ammonia and particulate carbon showed more variability in summer. Averaged over the season, particulate carbon and particulate nitrogen decreased in the downstream direction, while ammonia and orthophosphate concentrations increased in the downstream direction.
At most sites, bacteria, phytoplankton, and zooplankton populations reached their maximums in summer. Large bacterial cells made up most of the bacteria biovolume, though cocci were the most numerous bacteria type. The cocci were smaller than the filter pore sizes used to separate dissolved from particulate matter in this study. Phytoplankton biovolumes were dominated by the blue-green alga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae most of the sampling season, though a spring diatom bloom occurred. Phytoplankton biovolumes were generally highest at the upstream Link River and Railroad Bridge sites and decreased in the downstream direction. Zooplankton populations were dominated by copepods in early spring, and by cladocerans and rotifers in summer, with rotifers more common farther downstream.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Klamath River Water Quality and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Data from Link River Dam to Keno Dam, 2007