Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Tennessee
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Tennessee Project

Implementing and optimizing a structured decision making model for regulated rivers

July 2013 - December 2014


Participating Agencies

  • U.S.G.S.

In a recently-completed project, a structured decison making model was developed for the operation of Tims Ford Dam on the Elk River. In this follow-up project, we are: 1. Initiating training and support for TVA and USFWS personnel to improve their understanding of how the decision model works, how to use it, and how to update it. 2. Investigating options for proceeding with optimization of the decision model. Optimization is a complex component of the Structured Decision Making process that, although not required to effectively use existing, fully-parameterized decision models, helps managers identify long-term optimal decisions. Optimization is a rapidly-changing area of research in the decision-making world. Colin has limited experience with optimization, but has discussed the topic with colleagues more familiar with the process. Identifying the best method for optimization (there are many) and conducting optimization analyses would require a year or more of additional work. However, even if optimization cannot be accomplished during six additional months of support, it would be useful to begin this process.

Research Publications Publication Date
Shea, C.P., P.W. Bettoli, K.Potoka, C.F. Saylor, and P.W. Shute. 2015. Use of dynamic occupancy models to assess the response of darters (Teleostei: Percidae) to varying hydrological and hydrothermal conditions in a southeastern United States tailwater. River Research and Appplications 31:676-691. | Abstract May 2015
Potoka, K.M., C.P. Shea, and P.W. Bettoli. Multi-species occupancy modeling as a tool for evaluating the status and distribution of darters in the Elk River, Tennessee. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 145:1100-1121. | Abstract | Download August 2016