Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Watershed Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Nicolaas Bouwes


Nicolaas Bouwes


Joseph M. Wheaton


Thomas C. Edwards, Jr.


It is important in the management of threatened and endangered species to have informed population estimates. Population estimates are used to gage whether or not recovery goals are being met. When assessing Pacific salmonids this assessment involves sampling a small subset of the population and then scaling up to estimate larger populations units. This is complicated by the fact that fish populations are not evenly distributed along river systems but respond to fluctuating physical and biological stream properties. We used rapid assessment survey methods and the River Styles classification to explore fish-habitat relationships. River Styles is a classification system that uses the stream characteristics and the landscape setting to define different river types. We preformed surveys in nine streams in the upper Middle Fork John Day River watershed. Using rapid assessment methods we increased the number of sites surveyed eight-fold over other monitoring methods used in the watershed. Using this increased sample size and continuous habitat metrics we improved watershed-wide steelhead abundance models. We concluded that the physical properties unique to each River Style had the potential to inform fish-habitat relationships and improve abundance estimates across networks of streams.