We conducted a field study during 2020–21 to describe habitat use patterns of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the mainstem Willamette, McKenzie, and Santiam Rivers and to evaluate how habitat suitability criteria affected the predictive accuracy of a hydraulic habitat model. Two approaches were used to collect habitat use data: a stratified sampling design was used to ensure that a representative sample of available habitats was included in our sampling; and a targeted sampling design was used to collect additional data in habitat cells where juvenile Chinook salmon were observed. Habitat attributes and fish presence data were collected in habitat cells that were approximately 2 square meters during April, June, and July. A total of 632 cells were sampled during the study and included habitat located in the main channel (373 cells), side channels (228 cells), and in alcoves (31 cells). Juvenile Chinook salmon were observed in 42 percent of the cells located in the main channel, 38 percent of the cells located in side channels, and 7 percent of the cells located in alcoves. We used logistic regression to develop resource selection functions for April, June, and July, which produced probability-based predictions of habitat use for juvenile Chinook salmon based on water velocity and water depth. The resource selection functions revealed a habitat shift by juvenile Chinook salmon to locations with higher water velocities and greater water depths from April to July as juvenile Chinook salmon size increased. The resource selection functions that we developed are an important addition to habitat modeling in the Willamette River basin because they were developed from in-basin data, capture seasonal differences in habitat use, and facilitate probability-based estimates of habitat use for juvenile Chinook salmon. These advancements will improve habitat modeling efforts for juvenile Chinook salmon during spring and summer months within the Willamette River.
|Title||Assessment of habitat use by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Willamette River Basin, 2020–21|
|Authors||Gabriel S. Hansen, Russell W. Perry, Tobias J. Kock, James S. White, Philip V. Haner, John M. Plumb, J. Rose Wallick|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Open-File Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Oregon Water Science Center; Western Fisheries Research Center|