Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Instream Flow Habitat Monitoring Course

Project Reference Number: 2009-04

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Dr. Thomas B. Hardy, Utah Water Research Laboratory, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

Funder: Course Fees

British Columbia has seen an increase in water allocation issues on fish-bearing streams, in large part because of the increased activity related to run-of-river hydro development. A key tool used to evaluate the impacts of these projects on fish habitat is the Physical Habitat Simulation Model (PHABSIM).

On June 22-26, 2009, the Bulkley Valley Centre for Natural Resources Research & Management offered a weeklong course on the theory and applied aspects of instream flow habitat modeling.

Course participants utilized an advanced Windows version of the Physical Habitat Simulation System developed at Utah State University for one-dimensional hydraulic and habitat based analyses. The course included:

  • the theory and application of Habitat Suitability Criteria (HSC) development
  • guild approaches for aquatic communities
  • spatial niche analysis techniques
  • habitat time series
  • effective habitat analyses and related time series based project flow scenario comparisons.

Habitat time series and project flow scenarios were demonstrated using a Windows based time series module that utilizes both one and two dimensional based habitat simulation results. Advanced habitat modeling and associated software also included the use of two-dimensional hydraulic model outputs that demonstrated the integration of cover, distance to escape cover, and distance to shore type analyses.

More info on the PHABSIM model.