An evaluation of instream habitat restoration techniques on salmonid populations in a Newfoundland stream

  • van Zyll De Jong M
  • Cowx I
  • Scruton D
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The effect of three types of habitat improvement structures were evaluated in Joe Farrell's Brook, a small second order salmonid stream in Newfoundland, Canada which had been adversly affected by forest harvesting activities. Fish populations and key habitat attributes were monitored prior to and, in two subsequent years after, boulder clusters, V-dams and half-log covers were placed at selected sites in channellised reaches. Boulder clusters proved to be the most effective structure, increasing densities of 0+, 1+, and 3+ juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) after placement of instream devices. V-dams proved to be effective in increasing both the density of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis Mitchel) and Atlantic salmon through the creation of more diverse pool habitat. Half-log covers increased the number of juvenile salmon age 0+ through an increase in instream cover. These increases in salmonid abundance, however, were considered not to be solely attributed to an improvement in physical habitat. Other factors may influence or modify productivity of the stream reaches treated. For example, relative abundance, size distribution, biomass, and production are controlled by physical and chemical habitat variables and are modified through inter- and intra-specific competition. The general conclusion was that the restoration techniques increased habitat heterogenity and the degree of habitat complexity in channellised sections; therefore, reducing competition and increasing production. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Michael C. van Zyll De Jong

  • Ian G. Cowx

  • David A. Scruton

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