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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • fish habitat
  • pool
  • deflector
  • abutment
  • sediment transport
  • river management

Index Terms

  • 1825 Hydrology: Geomorphology: fluvial
  • 1813 Hydrology: Eco-hydrology
  • 1856 Hydrology: River channels
  • 1847 Hydrology: Modeling



Combining Field, Laboratory, and Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling Approaches to Improve Our Understanding of Fish Habitat Restoration Schemes

P. M. Biron, D. M. Carré, R. B. Carver, K. Rodrigue-Gervais, and S. L. Whiteway

Despite a growing consensus that in-stream structures used in fish habitat restoration schemes should be nested within the larger catchment context, they may, nevertheless, provide rapid results, which are often required when fish habitat is urgently needed. However, the design, location, and placement of many of these in-stream structures are often based on very little scientific assessment. Of the various existing structures, deflectors (also called groins, abutments, vanes, or spur dikes) are reported to be the most common and the most successful in fish rehabilitation projects. Several field, laboratory, and numerical modeling studies have been conducted to improve our understanding of the complex flow and sediment dynamics around in-stream structures. The objectives of this chapter are first to summarize the current scientific knowledge on flow deflectors for stream restoration of fish habitat based on laboratory experiments, fieldwork, and numerical modeling and, second, to present findings from a research program based on the Nicolet River (Quebec) case study where several paired deflectors were installed in the 1990s to enhance fish habitat. Combining field, laboratory, and three-dimensional (3-D) numerical modeling approaches, this case study highlights the important feedback between the excavated pool morphology, complex 3-D flow field during high flow when structures are overtopped, and sediment transport. The larger particles falling in the excavated pool do not appear capable of exiting the pool even during floods. The design and position of the excavated pool do not appear appropriate in this case, which will likely hamper the long-term success of this enhancement project.

Citation: Biron, P. M., D. M. Carré, R. B. Carver, K. Rodrigue-Gervais, and S. L. Whiteway (2011), Combining field, laboratory, and three-dimensional numerical modeling approaches to improve our understanding of fish habitat restoration schemes, in Stream Restoration in Dynamic Fluvial Systems: Scientific Approaches, Analyses, and Tools, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 194, edited by A. Simon, S. J. Bennett and J. M. Castro, pp. 209–231, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2010GM000961.

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