At the request of the U.S. Forest Service, an instream flow assessment was conducted at Cherry Creek, Ariz., to investigate habitat for native and introduced fish species and to describe the beneficial use of a possible instream flow water right. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center performed an intensive field study of two sections of Cherry Creek in September 2008 to provide base data for hydrodynamic simulation of the flow conditions in the stream. The USGS Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, at the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources, conducted a survey of the habitat requirements of the resident fish species in Cherry Creek and provided the habitat suitability criteria used in this study. The habitat suitability criteria were combined with hydrodynamic simulation results to quantify fish habitat for the full range of daily flow experienced in the creek and to produce maps of habitat occurrence for those flows. The flow record at the Cherry Creek stream gage was used to generate habitat response values over time. The long-term habitat response was incorporated into an Excel (Registered) spreadsheet to allow evaluation of habitat occurrence with and without an instream water right under different hypothetical water withdrawal scenarios. The spreadsheet displays information about the time sequence of habitat events, the duration of critical events, and habitat retention.
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USGS Numbered Series
Environmental flow studies of the Fort Collins Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey-Cherry Creek, Arizona