The Use of IFIM for Evaluating Effects of a Flow Alternative on Fish Habitat in a River System with Competing Water Demands

by William J. Miller, W.J. Miller and Associates, Denver, United States,
James W. Chadwick, W.J. Miller and Associates, Denver, United States,
Steven P. Canton, W.J. Miller and Associates, Denver, United States,
Don J. Conklin, Jr., W.J. Miller and Associates, Denver, United States,
Edward Y. Chrisp, W.J. Miller and Associates, Denver, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources

Abstract: The Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) was used to evaluate instream fish habitat in the Platte River in central Nebraska. The IFIM analysis presented herein incorporates 1) water temperature modeling and water quality, 2) fish species composition and distribution, 3) physical habitat data and 4) 43 years of flow records. The Platte River system has competing water demands from hydropower, agricultural irrigation, municipal uses, recreation and most recently from recommended instream flows for fish and wildlife resources. IFIM was the tool used to develop the data base required for a comprehensive instream flow analysis of the system. When compared to the baseline flow regime, an alternative flow regime significantly increased modelled fish habitat area during critical periods of the year. The time series results demonstrated that the flow alternative would be beneficial to the existing fish resources, while still providing water for power production and irrigation.

Subject Headings: Fish management | Aquatic habitats | Water flow | River flow | Hydro power | Instream flow | Municipal water | Water resources | River systems | Water use | Nebraska | North America | United States

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