Montana Fishery Project
Stream-Network Assessment of Thermal Habitat for Arctic Grayling and Non-Native Salmonids in the Upper Big Hole River Watershed, Montana
October 2008 - December 2010
- Alexander Zale, Principal Investigator
- Shane Vatland, Student
- Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
We propose to produce a spatially-continuous dataset and map of stream water temperatures throughout the portion of the Big Hole River watershed representing the historic distribution of fluvial Arctic grayling and interpret that data within the context of Arctic grayling conservation. The data will characterize the distribution of thermally suitable grayling and non-native salmonid habitat during late summer and identify thermally significant areas and associated habitat attributes (e.g., riparian vegetation, channel alteration, or dewatering) that can guide conservation efforts for grayling. In addition, these spatially explicit thermal data will be used as a baseline for evaluating the potential effects of climate change, habitat restoration, and potential shifts in non-native salmonid distributions.