Event Title

The Provo River Restoration Project: Geomorphic Monitoring to Support Creation and Maintenance of Fish Habitat

Presenter Information

Susannah Erwin
Jack Schmidt

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-21-2010 1:20 PM

End Date

4-21-2010 1:40 PM

Description

The Provo River Restoration Project (PRRP) is the most heavily fished stream in Utah. Construction of the PRRP involved a $45 million investment to completely reconfigure 16 km of the middle Provo River in the Heber Valley. A primary objective of this project was the creation of habitat for native and game fish species. However, creation of habitat by channel reconfiguration does not guarantee its maintenance. Habitat maintenance requires sufficient stream flow, regular channel-filling floods, and an adequate sediment supply. A robust channel monitoring program is also needed to determine if the flows and sediment supply adequately accomplish their objective. Thus, habitat maintenance requires adaptive project management that is based on a robust monitoring program of hydrologic and geomorphic processes and channel form. Here, we present lessons learned from a comprehensive monitoring campaign of the downstream part of the PRRP that was conducted in 2008 and 2009. Measurements included bed load transport at two sites over a range of discharges during a simulated, dam-controlled flood in May 2009. These measurements allowed determination of a gravel budget for the study reach and demonstrate that more gravel entered the study reach than was evacuated. Transport measurements were bracketed by detailed channel topographic measurements, collected in fall 2008 and fall 2009. The net style of channel adjustment was aggradation, primarily through the construction of point bars. Our findings contrast from the interpretation of channel change in the same reach in prior years based solely on repeat channel cross-section surveys in a small area. The results of our work highlight that limited post-project monitoring campaigns may inaccurately describe patterns of channel adjustment unless the spatial extent of the monitoring campaign is designed to adequately characterize variable channel habitats over long channel reaches. Additionally, quantifying sediment transport rates is essential to understanding the mechanisms driving changes in habitat.

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Apr 21st, 1:20 PM Apr 21st, 1:40 PM

The Provo River Restoration Project: Geomorphic Monitoring to Support Creation and Maintenance of Fish Habitat

Eccles Conference Center

The Provo River Restoration Project (PRRP) is the most heavily fished stream in Utah. Construction of the PRRP involved a $45 million investment to completely reconfigure 16 km of the middle Provo River in the Heber Valley. A primary objective of this project was the creation of habitat for native and game fish species. However, creation of habitat by channel reconfiguration does not guarantee its maintenance. Habitat maintenance requires sufficient stream flow, regular channel-filling floods, and an adequate sediment supply. A robust channel monitoring program is also needed to determine if the flows and sediment supply adequately accomplish their objective. Thus, habitat maintenance requires adaptive project management that is based on a robust monitoring program of hydrologic and geomorphic processes and channel form. Here, we present lessons learned from a comprehensive monitoring campaign of the downstream part of the PRRP that was conducted in 2008 and 2009. Measurements included bed load transport at two sites over a range of discharges during a simulated, dam-controlled flood in May 2009. These measurements allowed determination of a gravel budget for the study reach and demonstrate that more gravel entered the study reach than was evacuated. Transport measurements were bracketed by detailed channel topographic measurements, collected in fall 2008 and fall 2009. The net style of channel adjustment was aggradation, primarily through the construction of point bars. Our findings contrast from the interpretation of channel change in the same reach in prior years based solely on repeat channel cross-section surveys in a small area. The results of our work highlight that limited post-project monitoring campaigns may inaccurately describe patterns of channel adjustment unless the spatial extent of the monitoring campaign is designed to adequately characterize variable channel habitats over long channel reaches. Additionally, quantifying sediment transport rates is essential to understanding the mechanisms driving changes in habitat.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2010/AllAbstracts/5