Re: Water Hyacinth (fwd)

In article <Pine.3.89.9411271500.A26632-0100000@Joyce-Perkins.tenet.edu> Don Bass <bass@tenet.edu> writes:
>    I had suggested that John Dietling might forward my questions and
>issues concerning the water hyacinth to Ecolog, however I decided to
>subscribe and as my questions directly..
>    John Dietling has informed my that the plant and duckweed is
>currently used in Austin, Texas as a wastewater strategy.
>    The Chinese were evidently using a long fiber of the hyacinth to
>their advantage.
>    Thank you for your interest, if you should be able to response to
>any of my questions.
>    Don Bass
>Collegeof the Mainland
>Texas City , Texas
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Thu, 24 Nov 1994 09:58:11 -0600 (CST)
>From: Don Bass <bass@tenet.edu>
>To: John Louis Dettling <dettling@tenet.edu>
>Cc: dperkins@tenet.edu
>Subject: Water Hyacinth
>    I thought you might be on that list.
>    Here are my issues/question related to water hyacinth.
>    During the late October flood in Southeast Texas there was a huge
>migration of this plant, violet flower,  pale violet, multi-blossom.
>These plants came from Lake Conroe, the San Jacinto River, and Armand bayou.
>    I believe that returning salinity levels have killed them.
>Discussion about them rendered several interesting ideas. Their mass and
>level of competition is not good news to smooth cordgrass. The hyacinths
>cover up young cordgrass, I am told. The detritis is not really necessary
>to nutrient rich Galveston Bay.
>    I am told that nothing co-evolved with them.
>    I am also told that they started in this country at the World's
>Fair, in New Orleans as a garden party favor, a bowl from each table. It is
>also said that a dollar or two is added to water bills in Florida, as hyaciinth
>removal expense.
>    A professor at A & M in Galveston told me that the plant produces
>long fibers that are useful and are processed into marketable products in
>    Also the plant is valuable as a filter in purifying water.
>    I would appreciated any information that Ecolog-List can develop.
>I continue to be amazed and interested in the very unclear and irrational
>definitions of trash and nusinance plants
>    Could you pass this along. You might also slice me the
>instructions for joining  ecolog-L
>    Don
>"Will Rogers Never Met Newt."
>------------ End Forwarded Message -------------

To continue this thread on the water hyacinths.. I recall an article where
domesticated water buffalo were shipped from Guam and the Philippines to
Florida to help with water hyacinth control.  Does anyone know what 
happened to that program?  Who sponsored it?  What happened to the
water buffalo?  And what effect did they have on the water hyacinths?

As far as definitions of plants go, in earlier days, any plant that
seemed not to have any use was called a "weed"...and if it got out of
hand it was called a "nuisance plant" ...  Now, if we could figure
out a use for these plants that would be economically viable..putting
folks to work, giving them jobs, boosting an economy, then they would
get past the "weed" stigma...

my $0.02

Dave Gardner

Newsgroups: sci.bio.ecology
From: casspa@efn.org (Paul Cass)
Subject: Watershed Management #1
Summary: Management of urban watersheds with innovative strategies
Keywords: watershed, urban, runoff, BMPs
Organization: Prototype Eugene Free Net
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 1994 05:14:18 GMT
Lines: 201

The following article is part of a watershed seminar held at Oregon State
University in Spring, 1992.  The summary was written by Penny Cass and approved by the
speaker.  This article is part of a publication that can be ordered from the
Oregon Water Resources Research Institute, OSU, Strand Ag Hall 210,
Corvallis, OR 97331-2208 (503) 737-4023.  The article may be reprinted
without permission for educational purposes.  If used, Please send 2 copies
of your publication to OWRRI.

Wayne Huber, OSU, Civil Engineering

     All watersheds obey the same physical, chemical and biological
principles.  The primary difference between urban and rural watersheds is
the larger amount of impervious surface -- rooftops and pavement -- within
city boundaries, and the city's hydraulically efficient drainage system. 
Natural watersheds slow the movement of water with vegetation, overland
flow, and infiltration, but the network of pipes, channels, and sewers in
urban areas rapidly moves the greater volume of runoff to receiving waters
(Figure 1).  Management of urban watersheds involves assessing the impact
of urban activities on runoff and receiving waters, and providing the impetus
and methods for control of water quantity and quality.  Computer models
can be helpful in making management decisions.  


     Historically, from the mid-1800s the major focus of urban watershed
management has been on drainage and prevention of flooding.  With roof
drains frequently connected directly to the sewers and impervious surfaces
preventing infiltration, civil engineers have to manage larger volumes of fast-
moving water.  

     Although management of water quantity is still a primary
engineering concern, attention is now directed to management of urban
water quality as well.  Storm water picks up many impurities as it moves
through the urban environment (Figure 2).  Oil and grease from parking lots
and roads, leaves, dust fall from industry, particulates from many sources,
nutrients from fertilizers, pollutants in snowmelt, zinc from automobile tires,
heavy metals and other toxics are all carried by storm water to natural
receiving waters, where water quality may be affected.  Thus, nonpoint
source runoff constitutes an important origin of pollutants, comparable to
traditional point source discharges from industry and sewage treatment
plants.  Both point and nonpoint sources must be considered for control of
water quality.  

     Major water quality problems in many older cities are caused by
combined sewer systems that carry both sewage and storm water runoff. 
Sanitary sewers are dry weather flow conveyances for sewage.  Where the
same pipes convey both storm water and sewage, combined sewer
overflows (CSOs) can occur after rainfall.  Heavy rains can produce a vol-
ume of water larger than the sewage treatment plant can handle, and sewage
is discharged directly into the receiving waters.  Portland has 43 combined
sewer overflow locations into the Willamette River and Columbia Slough
(Figure 3); Corvallis has five such discharge points into the Willamette River
(Figure 4).  

     Polluted storm water and sewage discharging from combined sewer
overflows affect aquatic ecosystems, cause bacterial problems such as
coliform in shellfish and closure of water contact recreation, and can affect
water supply, fishing, aesthetics, and navigation (through increased
sedimentation).  Water quality standards are violated more frequently, and
the cost of providing basic public services is increased.  


     Simple maintenance can help reduce adverse water quality effects. 
For example, drainage systems frequently have curb-side catch basins that
capture debris washed off city streets.  Cleaning these devices, which have
sometimes been in place for decades or longer, requires investment in
equipment and personnel but can help control quality problems.  

     Urban erosion from vacant lots, road construction, and building
projects needs to be controlled to prevent sediment from filling culverts and
reducing hydraulic capacity of drainage systems.  Eliminating improper
connections to storm drains from small industries (e.g., service stations) and
controlling infiltration into the sewers can prevent many pollutants from
ending up in receiving waters.  

     Some control methods focus on increasing infiltration through
trenches, basins, and porous pavement.  Increasing contact with the soil and
creating roadside swales, where water flows over vegetation, can also help
reduce the volume of storm water and often remove most of the particulates
suspended in the water.  Innovative compost filters are now being
implemented in the Portland area.  

     Storage of storm water and combined sewage is perhaps the single
most important method of control.  The water can be held in ponds so that it
has time to infiltrate into the soil.  Settling of solids from the water occurs
and is primarily a function of detention time, which increases with the
volume of storage provided.  On a larger scale for combined sewers, water
can be stored in tanks during the rainfall event, then pumped to the
treatment plant after the flow rate has returned to normal.  

     Storm water ponds can be integrated into new urban developments and,
if designed attractively, become an amenity.  Dry ponds are vegetated
storage areas that accommodate flooding during major storm events, while
wet ponds have a permanent pool of water and are more effective for
nutrient removal.  Constructed wetlands can be used to remove solids and

     Urban runoff control measures are often called Best Management
Practices (BMPs).  The best BMP approach forms a treatment train where
water is moved through a series of controls.  For example, water can be
taken from a parking lot, routed over a grassy swale, and moved eventually
into a pond.  Treatment trains are particularly effective for controlling the
"first flush" or dirtiest, initial portion of the runoff.  All structural BMPs must
be maintained to be effective.  


     Control of water quality discharges from urban watersheds is spurred
by concerns such as human and aquatic health, aesthetics, and recreation. 
Impetus also comes from federal legislation: the Federal Water Pollution
Control Act of 1972, the Clean Water Act of 1977, and the Water Quality
Act of 1987.  The Clean Water Act established the National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which initially required permitting
for sewage treatment plant and industrial discharges and has now been
extended to storm water discharges.  

     Federal financial assistance for urban water quality control is no
longer available.  Local governments will have to pay for any future
improvements.  One source of revenue is a storm water utility that charges
local residents and businesses based upon the amount of impervious surface
(typically a standardized $3-5 per month for a residence).  Public relations
and educational campaigns that inform citizens that waste dumped in drains
ends up in rivers and that outline the costs of clean-up, constitute control
methods themselves and provide an impetus for public involvement.  


     Models are used to analyze runoff management options and assist
engineers in decision making.  Data for these models come from studies such
as the EPA Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP).  Eugene was one
of thirty NURP cities studied between 1978 and 1984.  The data from these
studies can be used to evaluate runoff problems and calibrate models that
predict storm water and combined sewer quantity and quality.  The models
can also be used to identify pollutants from various sources in the watershed. 

     For prediction of runoff quality, models sometimes use a build-
up/wash-off concept.  This conceptualizes the quality process as an
accumulation of pollutants during dry weather and subsequent wash-off of
pollutants during a storm event.  The output from the model is concentration
and mass as a function of time and location in the watershed.  

     Several urban watershed models exist.  The EPA Hydrological
Simulation Program - Fortran (HSPF) model is being used in the Tualatin
Basin near Portland to characterize urban and non-urban land-surface runoff. 
The EPA Storm Water Management Model (SWMM is being used in
Portland and many other cities for analysis of CSO and storm water
problems.  SWMM analyzes the various effects of urban control strategies,
including storage, infiltration, treatment, and hydraulic controls.  SWMM and
similar models can produce relatively accurate predictions of water quantity
(hydrographs) when good rainfall data are used as input.  However, quality
processes can only be simulated accurately when local calibration data are
available.  Still other models from EPA and elsewhere can be used to
evaluate receiving water impacts.  


     Historical problems of drainage and flooding in urban areas are now
complicated by important considerations of water quality.  Protection of
receiving water quality is a federal and state requirement, but local
governments need to provide incentives and educate the public about water
quality concerns since the public has to foot the bill for controls.  Data and
models can provide guidance for decision makers.  Programs to evaluate
urban nonpoint source quality management should be integrated with overall
watershed management in order to provide for a comprehensive stewardship
of our receiving waters.  


Donigian, A.S., Jr. and W.C. Huber. 1991. Modeling of Nonpoint Source
Water Quality in Urban and Non-Urban Areas. EPA/600/3-91/039.

Roesner, L.A., B. Urbonas, and M.B. Sonnen (eds). 1988.  Design of Urban
Runoff Quality Controls. Proc. of Engineering Foundation Conference,
American Society of Civil Engineers. New York.

Schueler, T.R. 1987. Controlling Urban Runoff:  A Practical Manual for
Planning and Designing Urban BMPs. Metropolitan Information Center,
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington D.D.

Torno, H.C. (ed). 1989. Urban Stormwater Quality Enhancement ~ Source
Control, Retrofitting, and Combined Sewer Technology, Proc of Engineering
Foundation Conference, American Society of Civil Engineers, New York.

Urbonas, B.R. and L.A. Roesner. 1993. Hydrologic Design for Urban Drainage
and Flood Control. Ch. 28 in Handbook of Hydrology, D.R. Maidment (ed).
McGraw-Hill, New York.

Urbonas, B.R. and P. Stahre. 1993. Stormwater Best Management Practices
and Detention for Water Quality, Drainage, and CSO Management. Prentice-
Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Newsgroups: sci.bio.ecology
From: casspa@efn.org (Paul Cass)
Subject: Watershed Management #2
Summary: Capture, storage, and safe release of moisture in grazing watersheds
Keywords: Watershed, grazing, rangeland, moisture
Organization: Prototype Eugene Free Net
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 1994 05:16:12 GMT
Lines: 108

The following article is part of a watershed seminar held at Oregon
State University in Spring, 1992.  The summary was written by Penny
Cass and approved by the speaker.  This article is part of a publication
that can be ordered from the Oregon Water Resources Research
Institute, OSU, Strand Ag Hall 210, Corvallis, OR 97331-2208 (503) 737-
4023.  The article may be reprinted without permission for educational
purposes.  If used, Please send 2 copies of your publication to OWRRI.

Hugh Barrett, Bureau of Land Management, Portland, OR

     "Wherever you are, you are in a watershed," explained Hugh
Barrett, emphasizing that rangelands should not be defined by the
presence of livestock.  "Grazing must also address watershed functions," 
     A rangeland watershed contains uplands, an aquatic zone, and a
transition area between these two ~ the riparian zone.  The rangeland
riparian zone is a broad flat, the potential floodplain, created as the
river meandered over the area.  These riparian zones can support a
complex vegetative community, yet much of this wetlands-type
community has lost its natural protection through beaver-trapping and
severe grazing.
     The fundamental functions of a watershed are: capture or
infiltration of moisture, storage of moisture, and the safe release of
moisture, through surface and subsurface flows.

     The infiltration of moisture begins at the soil surface.  A major
problem in the West is the loss of vegetation and organic litter that
protects the soil surface.  Without the plants, which protect the soil, the
surface becomes a "puddled crust" that prevents water infiltration.  What
moisture is captured, evaporates more easily through the action of sun
and wind.
     Without infiltration, and with any slope, rain water will travel
overland, eroding topsoil and exposing subsurface soils that have very
low infiltration rates.  When overland flows concentrate, deep gullies are
formed, which then dry out even lower areas of the subsurface soils.

     Storage of moisture is important for plant growth and for
recharging groundwater as well as streams.  Yet, water that has
penetrated the surface is still vulnerable.  Some plants extract water
from the soil at excessive rates.  For instance, a western juniper with a
12' diameter crown can transpire 15 to 30 gallons of water per day from
the soil.  Such plants are one reason streams and springs no longer flow
and seeps have dried up.
     Junipers have long, shallow roots that compete with surrounding
vegetation for stored moisture.  Native evergreens, junipers used to be
controlled by fires that occurred about every forty years.  The grasses
between junipers used to carry fire from one tree to the next.  But with
fire suppression and severe grazing on the grasses, juniper has come to
dominate many of the West's rangeland watersheds.

     As watersheds lose their functions of moisture capture and
storage, overland flows break river channel banks causing further
erosion.  Destroyed by severe grazing, grasses along the rivers can no
longer trap sediments to protect the banks.
     When sediment isn't trapped and held by grasses, streams can
become entrenched.  Entrenched streams have narrow, deep defiles well
below the floodplain terrace.  The stream surface sets the top of the
water table.  When the stream is level with the floodplain, the entire
terrace is capable of storing moisture.  With stream entrenchment, water
that used to be stored for years is moved out of the system in weeks.
     Figure 1 shows the difference in water storage between an
entrenched and an intact rangeland watershed.  The entrenched system
is capable of storing approximately 135 acre feet, whereas the intact
system can potentially store 400 acre feet.

     Entrenched riparian areas can be restored.  The sequence of
plant communities found in intact riparian zones frequently still exist in
entrenched areas.  Plant communities follow the water down an
entrenchment as they would down the drain of a basin.  So plants that
used to spread throughout a 1/4 mile zone may still exist in one foot
bands down the side of the entrenched bank.  As streams are
encouraged back to the level of the floodplain, plants usually refill the
valley.  With the return of grasses to trap sediments, one area protected
from grazing for 10 years, built up its stream bottom six feet.
     An important rangeland management task is changing the season
of use by livestock.  More effective than limiting the numbers of
animals, is limiting the seasons when grazing can occur.  Preventing
grazing before the seasons of high flow ~ early Spring and the mid-
summer season of thunderstorms ~ allows grasses to remain established
when they are most needed for trapping sediments.
     Grazing management that is sensitive to the water cycle of a
particular basin provides the foundation for restoring watershed
functions of capture, storage, and safe release.  Ranchers that have tried
moving cattle away from streams prior to high flows have found that
good watershed management practices can have economic benefits.  The
return of high quality grasses enhances both riparian systems and cattle
     Education about changing the seasonal use of cattle, the lopping
and spreading of juniper branches, and the additional erosion protection
required by south slopes where the sun strikes more harshly may provide
more benefits for rangeland watersheds than additional regulations.


Bedell, et al. 1991.  Watershed Management Guide for the Interior
Northwest. EM8436.  Oregon State University.

Elmore, D.W. 1987.  Personal communication.

Eddleman, L. 1992.  Personal communication.

Newsgroups: sci.bio.ecology
From: casspa@efn.org (Paul Cass)
Subject: Watershed Management #3
Summary: The technical and human components of forested watershed management
Keywords: Watershed, forest, water degradation, cummulative effects
Organization: Prototype Eugene Free Net
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 1994 05:19:21 GMT
Lines: 140

The following article is part of a watershed seminar held at Oregon State
University in Spring, 1993.  The summary was written by Penny Cass and
approved by the speaker.  This article is part of a publication that can be
ordered from the Oregon Water Resources Research Institute, OSU, Strand
Ag Hall 210, Corvallis, OR 97331-2208 (503) 737-4023.  The article may be
reprinted without permission for educational purposes.  If used, Please send
2 copies of your publication to OWRRI.

Bruce P. McCammon, U.S. Forest Service, Portland

 Across the United States, 70 percent of the rain that falls on land, falls
on forests.  Many cities in Oregon depend on that rain and on the health of
forested watersheds for their drinking water.  Forest and water management
issues are of great significance to the state but there is a general lack of
understanding about watersheds ~ what they are, the role they play, how
they differ, and why the public should care about their health. 
Communication may be the single most important ingredient in watershed
       A quick survey of Oregon reveals a variety of complex, sometimes
conflicting water-related concerns.  There are very few places in the state
where you can stand without stepping on someone's water issue.  To begin
to address the health of water systems requires assessing the technological
and human dimensions, determining both watershed condition and water-
related values.

       Oregon is expected to have 850,000 more people within ten to fifteen
years but some areas of the state were already water-limited at the turn of
the century.  Conflicting values and water uses are adding additional strain
on an over-taxed supply.  Endangered species such as the spotted owl and
marbled murelet, and instream flow requirements for salmonids and suckers
affect water management choices.  Scenic waterway legislation and federal
and Native American water rights have already halted  development in some
areas of the state such as in the John Day basin.  Inability to meet clean
water standards has required allocating Total Maximum Daily Loads
(TMDL's) of allowable pollutants to users of the Tualatin, Coquille, Umatilla,
and Grand Ronde rivers.  Municipal costs are rising as cities struggle to filter
water in order to meet tougher standards.  Northeastern Oregon is the home
of thousands of acres of dead and dying trees.  The change in forest cover
and habitat will affect many of the hydrologic process in the area. 
Recreationists and ranchers, farmers and fishermen are all affected by the
quality and availability of water.
       Around the state, new buzzwords reflect the growing water concerns
~ cumulative effects, channel maintenance flows, forest health, water rights
adjudication, best management practices, riparian zone protection, point and
non-point sources of pollution, ecosystem management and analysis, and
watershed condition assessment and restoration.  A healthy debate and the
best allocation of resources requires accurate scientific assessment on the
condition and capacity of watersheds and an understanding of the values
that determine human choices.  Figure 1 illustrates some of the water issues
that exist within Oregon.

       The technical dimensions of forested watersheds can be explored by
discussing ecosystem management, water quality, watershed restoration, and
cooperative data acquisition.
       Ecosystem management involves identifying principle components of
a system and understanding the processes that affect that system.  The
components of a watershed are its scale, its elements, and its natural
variability.  Watershed processes are affected by size, elevation, amount of
precipitation, vegetation, and geology.  The processes are also affected by the
type, magnitude, and frequency of disturbances such as landslides, fires, or
infestations.  Other factors that are important to an accurate assessment of
watersheds are the historical, current, and future land uses, the land
ownership, and the valued benefits the watershed provides.
       Cumulative effects analysis is the synthesis of all the data provided in
an accurate technical assessment of a watershed.  By comparing the current
health of a basin with its natural condition and range of variability, decisions
can be made about the capacity of the catchment to meet projected uses and
provide valued benefits.
       Communicating the findings on cumulative effects has frequently
been an attempt to assign quantitative values to dynamic, sometimes poorly
understood systems.  McCammon recommends using qualitative risk
assessment and communicating the level of confidence.
       By describing a particular watershed's health as "at the outer edge of
fair" management decisions can be made about mitigating impacts which
might move the basin into a "poor" category.  Such qualitative assessments
are more easily understood and can be as reliable as attempting to attach a
percentage of risk to a given project.
       Water quality in forested areas is significantly affected by non-point
source pollutants often related to road building and timber harvesting.  The
current strategy for dealing with non-point source impacts is to use the Best
Management Practices (BMP) for a particular project, monitor the results, and
provide feedback.  BMP's for the Forest Service relate to silviculture practices
and road engineering.  BMP's need to be more adequately developed for
recreation, range, and agriculture activities.
       One of the most expensive aspects of non-point source strategies is
monitoring.  McCammon suggests that there is a need for better cooperation
and coordination among Federal, State and private groups in monitoring
basins and projects.  Avoiding duplication can allow more funds to be spent
on other aspects of watershed management such as restoration.
       The headwaters of many Oregon municipal water supplies are on
National Forest lands.  Because changes in the Safe Drinking Water Act are
requiring higher standards and more expensive treatment of city water,
municipalities are increasingly becoming involved in the administration of
watersheds.  Land management agencies, various local governments, and
private land owners will need to work cooperatively on the water quality
and economic issues that originate within a watershed.
       The Clinton administration has placed political emphasis on the
environment and on jobs.  Watershed restoration projects can benefit both
goals.  Watershed restoration will depend on an accurate assessment of
ecosystem health so that priorities can be developed.  Restoration will require
working on scales that involve private, State and Federal land ownership. 
Again, cooperation in the planning and in the projects will be essential.
       The final technical dimension involves developing fundamental data
and information sources.  Watershed assessment and project monitoring must
be based on sound scientific research.  Shared databases and mapping
projects have been started but often the most basic information, such as the
number of miles of fish-bearing streams within a particular forest, have yet
to be determined.

       No discussion of watershed management should leave out the human
dimension.  People are involved in the changing social expectations toward
watersheds; people make up the political and economic interests that
communicate values on watersheds; and people will staff the work force
tackling watershed restoration.
       The forest planning process can provide valuable insight into the
changing demands for water and the changing demands on the forests that
produce that water.  Litigation involving Forest Service proposals also
indicates the public interest in water resources.  The Forest Service response
to this changing environmental alignment has been the adoption of
ecosystem management planning.
       Because watershed management increasingly involves a mixture of
land ownership, McCammon believes it will be essential to become familiar
with our neighbors, to develop communication networks that can work
cooperatively.  He asserts that communication is a two-way street requiring
technical experts to put their findings in easily understood language, and the
public to communicate their values objectively.
       Watershed restoration work can help communities that are in
transition from economic reliance on timber.  A watershed work force will
require training to be technically astute and to be able to communicate well.
       Watershed issues are complex, with no single, right answer.  It took a
long time to create the current watershed problems and the cures won't come
quickly.  Communication that emphasizes cooperation will help set priorities
through understanding, rather than through litigation.

Newsgroups: sci.bio.ecology
From: casspa@efn.org (Paul Cass)
Subject: Watershed Management #4
Summary: Water bodies as reflections of their catchments
Keywords: Watershed, catchment, ecoregions, fish assemblage
Organization: Prototype Eugene Free Net
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 17:13:01 GMT
Lines: 175

The following article is part of a watershed seminar held at Oregon
State University in Spring, 1993.  The summary was written by Penny Cass and
approved by the speaker.  This article is part of a publication that can
be ordered from the Oregon Water Resources Research Institute, OSU,
Strand Ag Hall 210, Corvallis, OR 97331-2208 (503) 737-4023.  The
article may be reprinted without permission for educational purposes.  If
used, Please send 2 copies of your publication to OWRRI.

Robert Hughes, Aquatic Ecologist, Mantech, Corvallis, Oregon

Europeans use the term "catchment" to describe drainage basins; to
them a "watershed" is the drainage divide.  Hughes prefers the word
"catchment" because it is more universal and captures the image of
holding, storing, or "catching" water, rather than merely "shedding" it.
Water bodies reflect their catchments; relatively clean water seeps
through the catchment and emerges carrying the signature of the
landscape it has passed through.  The health of much of the landscape is
deteriorating and water bodies are reflecting this change.  Stemming the
degradation involves monitoring and assessing regional patterns and
establishing a network of aquatic preserves.

Catchment Development and Character
All around us we see evidence of past landscape sculpturing by water
(Leopold et al., 1964).  Tectonic forces yield the raw material that water
uses to create the hills and hummocks and landscape patterns. 
Worldwide, water has shaped much of the earth's topography.

Precipitation leaching through and eroding the soils and rocks
determines the quality and character of the land and it also determines
the quality and character of the water.  Differences in the character of
the water and land influence the organisms that survive in a particular

Six major landscape features determine the character of water bodies. 
Climate, topography, surficial geology, soil, vegetation, and land use are
the landscape determinants of water body health.  These six
characteristics influence a water body's flow regime, habitat structure,
food sources, migration barriers, and water quality.
Just as landscape character determines water quality, the water can be
used to determine the health of the surrounding land.  Catchment health
is reflected in water turbidity, color, alkalinity, and hardness, and in the
chloride, nitrogen, and phosphorus content.  Water chemistry illustrates
catchment health the way a blood sample portrays the health of a
human patient.

Urban, pasture, and forest land uses all affect regional water chemistry,
but studies have shown that cities have the largest affect on water
quality at a site.  The condition of a riparian area, the floodplain along a
river channel, also influences water quality.  Riparian areas support
vegetation and food sources, regulate water temperature and channel
morphology, provide places of concealment for fish and water organisms,
and provide a land use buffer that traps pollutants and sediments.  Over
70 percent of a catchment's wildlife depend on riparian areas for

Demonstrating Regional Patterns
Water bodies demonstrate regional patterns on large scales, like biomes,
and on smaller scales.  Ecoregions have been mapped for the United
States based on the differing character of regional landscapes and water
bodies (Figure 1).

Oregon can be divided hierarchically into 8 to 40 ecoregions, each with
different topography, vegetation, climate, and water.  Research has
shown that distinct ecoregions have different fish assemblages.  Diverse
fish groups are supported by the special character of an ecoregion and
are affected by the variety of land uses within the region.  Separate
water basins are related to neighboring basins by common ecoregion
characteristics.  Ecoregion analysis looks at the community of
catchments rather than the individual populations of a single catchment. 
Figure 2 shows how fish assemblages can reflect an Ecoregion within a
basin rather than being similar throughout the entire catchment.

Understanding the distinct character of each ecoregion is useful in
assessing and managing ecosystem health.  Using ecoregions, researchers
can determine the natural conditions, such as cold or warm water,
without measuring each stream, and assess what deviations are occurring
by locating water bodies that have changed from predominant regional
patterns.  Regional patterns suggest that most of Oregon's streams were
once appropriate habitats for salmonids at some times of the year.

Assessing Deteriorating Health
What is a healthy watershed?  For many ecologists, health is often
synonymous with biological integrity, which means "the ability to support
and maintain a balanced, integrated, adaptive community of organisms
having a composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable
to that of the natural habitats of the region" (Frey, 1975; Karr &
Dudley, 1981).  Figure 3 illustrates the variety of components involved in
biological diversity.

Examples of deteriorating health exist on all scales of diversity ~
genetic, species, assemblages, fauna, ecosystem, or landscape (Hughes
and Noss, 1992).  Genetically, at least 23 percent of anadromous Pacific
salmonids are at risk; nearly half of the troubled stocks are in Oregon. 
On a species level, 63 percent of California fishes are extinct or at risk. 
Assemblages of fish in the Great Lakes are deteriorating as evidenced
by the 82 percent drop in the commercial catch of native salmonids. At
the fauna level, 20 percent of the world's fishes are extinct or at risk. 
To illustrate the decline in ecosystem integrity, only 2 percent of U.S.
streams are worthy of a wild and scenic status.

Establishing Aquatic Preserves
A network of aquatic preserves would help protect ecosystem variety,
save endangered species, and provide scientific reference sites.  Because
terrestrial preserves fail to adequately protect aquatic organisms,
establishing these new preserves would facilitate better ecosystem
management.  Protected from multiple stresses, these research
catchments would provide information on the biological criteria that the
state is required to produce in order to meet new water quality

Protecting a number of different species and a number of different
stocks requires creating preserves in each ecoregion and in each basin. 
A committee of thirteen biologists in Oregon developed a proposed
network of preserves, which was reviewed by 80 aquatic biologists. 
Much of the critical habitat is on public land and there is some overlap
with existing or proposed reserves for terrestrial species.  However,
current reserves and resource management ptactices underprotect
aquatic species.

Creating a Monitoring Program
Discovering problems after species are already at risk illustrates an
inadequate monitoring program.  For 40 years, Oregon measured
returning salmon at particular index sites.  Because the sites were
located on the best streams in the Coast Range, extrapolated statewide
fish totals overestimated fish counts.  These inflated numbers were
subsequently used to set harvest limits.  Fish catches may have been
established at about five times the level that more accurate assessments
would have allowed.  

These monitoring problems can be addressed by using more rigorous
statistical processes when establishing sample sites.  Pilot programs in
Oregon use randomly generated sites in a variety of basins monitored on
a rotating basis. 

Sedimentary diatoms, the algal "skeletons" in the bottoms of lakes, can
illustrate the historical changes within a water body.  Diatom
disturbance indexes tend to correlate with the human impacts within a
catchment.  Plotting the character of disturbance can paint an ecosystem
picture of regional landscape health.  Use of multiple metrics on
multiple fish assemblages increases the power of management agencies
to assess the status and trends of aquatic ecosystems and their

Protecting water quality and terrestrial and aquatic populations require
an understanding of the different landscape features that can affect a
catchment.  Focusing on single species preservation ignores the essential
connection between species and their habitat, while ecosystem
management focuses on habitat in efforts to protect multiple species. 
By characterizing the physical and chemical processes within ecoregions,
managers can compare the current health of a catchment with the
natural condition of the region.  Establishing aquatic preserves and
creating monitoring programs allows managers to protect existing
healthy population, to aid in the restoration of declining populations,
and to verify assumptions made in management plans.


Hughes, R.M. and R.F. Noss. 1992. Biological Diversity and Biological
Integrity:  Current Concerns for Lakes and Streams.  Fisheries 17:11-19.

Leopold, L.B., M.G. Wolman and J.P. Miller. 1964. Fluvial Processes in
Geomorphology. W.H. Freeman Co. San Francisco.

Noss, R.F. 1990. Indicators for Monitoring Biodiversity: A hierarchical
Approach.  Conservation Biology 4:355-364.

Omernik, J.M. 1987. Ecoregions of the Conterminous United States. 
Annals of the Association of American Geographers 77:118-125.

Omernik, J.M. and G.E. Griffith. 1991. Ecological Regions Versus
Hydrologic Unites: Frameworks for Managing Water Quality. Journal of
Soil and Water Conservation 48:334-340.

Newsgroups: sci.bio.ecology
From: casspa@efn.org (Paul Cass)
Subject: Watershed Management #5
Summary: Decline in fish stocks and refugia as restoration technique
Keywords: Watershed, restoration, salmon, fisheries
Organization: Prototype Eugene Free Net
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 17:14:48 GMT
Lines: 176

The following article is part of a watershed seminar held at Oregon State
University.  The summary was written by Penny Cass and approved by the
speaker.  This article is part of a publication that can be ordered from the
Oregon Water Resources Research Institute, OSU, Strand Ag Hall 210,
Corvallis, OR 97331-2208 (503) 737-4023.  The article may be reprinted
without permission for educational purposes.  If used, Please send 2 copies
of your publication to OWRRI.

Solutions to Watershed Restoration

Chris Frissell, OSU Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife,
David Bayles, Director of Public Land Management, Pacific Rivers
Council, Eugene

       Someone once defined the Pacific Northwest as "any place
the salmon can go."  If so, the Pacific Northwest is shrinking.  The
American Fisheries Society estimates that 106 populations of
Pacific Northwest salmonids (salmon, steelhead, trout, and char)
are now extinct, and over 210 additional populations are currently
at risk.
       Scientists have recognized the dangers to salmonid
populations for over a quarter of a century, yet no Federal or State
policies explicitly address protecting river functions.  The Pacific
Rivers Council is attempting to close the gap between science and
policy with a watershed restoration plan.  Developing a restoration
plan involves looking at the historical patterns which have created
the problems, scientifically evaluating the effectiveness of remedial
actions, understanding the political realities that will be
encountered in enacting effective policy, and creating a dynamic
program that will adequately protect salmonid diversity.

Historical Trends and Remedial Actions
       Floodplains and valley lowlands were once the home of the
most productive and diverse fish populations.  As human
settlements grew, river channels were straightened, vegetation was
removed, and fish populations in lower reaches declined.  In the
last few decades, roads have been built into public lands on the
higher reaches of rivers and human activities on steep slopes, such
as logging and grazing, have caused further degradation of stream
       In the 1970's, realization of the effects of human activity
have on fish populations provided impetus for initial changes in
riparian management practices.  Buffer strips of trees and
vegetation were left on stream banks to protect fish habitats.  More
recently, awareness has focused on the benefit of large woody
debris left in streams.
       With increased awareness has come the attempt to rectify
previous management strategies.  Several projects have tried to
reintroduce woody debris back into stream beds.  Unfortunately,
high rates of failure have accompanied such remediation projects. 
Occasional introduced boulders have actually increased river water
temperature.  Landslides and fires have damaged buffer strips and
transplanted woody debris has often increased turbidity by
capturing fine silts that can destroy spawning beds.
       Watershed management science has begun to realize that
small patches of disturbance have large effects downstream.  For
instance, when certain forests have been roaded and clearcut, there
is a 25-fold increase in the possibility of large landslides.  Erosion
from roads can contribute as much sediment to rivers as a large
landslide.  The more damaged a watershed becomes the less likely
it is that remedial action will prove successful.  This realization has
changed the restoration strategy that scientists advocate.
       Early management strategies anticipated that areas of patch
disturbances would be recolonized from fish in surrounding intact
areas.  With today's hyper-fragmentation of habitat, surrounding
disturbances are instead jeopardizing the remaining intact areas. 
Frissell characterizes previous attempts to restore degraded
watersheds as the "Rat Hole Strategy."  The new strategy advocated
by scientists is called the "Rapid Biotic Response Strategy."  Figure
1 describes the goals, plans, treatments, and monitoring techniques
of the two restoration approaches.   In keeping with the new
strategy, the Oregon chapter of the American Fisheries Association
has identified critical watersheds in Oregon that need protection. 
The vast majority of these intact habitats are on Federal land,
particularly roadless areas, which must be protected from plans
that target them for timber harvest.

       Figure 1.  Historical and Proposed Management Strategies

"Rat Hole" Strategy
Goal:         Quick political fix
Planning:     Identify the worst degraded habitats
Treatment:    Generic techniques which focus on symptoms
Monitoring:   Determine that money was spent as allocated

"Rapid Biotic Response" Strategy
Goal:         Recovery of depressed salmonid populations
Planning:     Identify spatial refugia ~ the critical habitats ~ and the local threats to
              the last intact patches
Treatment:    Secure refugia ~ the intact habitats ~ and reconnect them

Monitoring:   Determine if approach is achieving the goals and reversing degradation

Political Realities
       Bayles makes three assertions or predictions that recognize the political realities of
watershed policy:
       1.     Watershed policies will be played out on Federal lands.
       2.     Watershed protection, management, and restoration battles have already
              begun.  All future Federal land management schemes will contain
              watershed language.
       3.     Watershed analysis will use regulation-based rather than the more
              scientific dynamic process-based methodology.  That is, instead of using
              watershed analysis as the basic tool for flexible decision making, concrete
              regulations will be used.

       The battle over watershed protection, management, and restoration will be played
out on Federal lands for legal and biological reasons.  The National Environmental Policy
Act requires that Federal land managers disclose the consequences of their actions.  The
National Forest Management Act requires maintenance of viable populations of native
vertebrate species, and the Endangered Species Act requires habitat protection for listed
species.  Each of these acts forms the legal basis for a de facto biodiversity management
policy on Federal lands.  For riparian dependent species, this protection involves watershed
management and restoration.
       The biological reason that watershed battles will take place on Federal lands is that
the Federal government owns much of the upper elevation lands; the lands with the highest
quality intact habitat and biota.  These remnant populations constitute a fraction of the
original, which mostly lived in the productive lowlands that have since been so fully
developed.  Because "gravity rules," the affects of disturbance on upper Federal lands have
the most cumulative effect on lower river reaches.

Watershed Protection
       The Pacific Rivers Council has submitted to Congress a proposal for a formal
watershed protection and restoration plan to be adopted by Federal land agencies.  The
watershed proposal creates a mandate to:
       A.     Identify and protect a system of watershed level refuges.
       B.     Reduce existing threats to those refuges
              1.     Sediment reduction
              2.     Livestock elimination
       C.     Identify and protect riparian areas on all Federal lands including
              ephemeral and intermittent streams and extending to contributing
              adjacent hillslopes.
       D.     Research, develop, and implement a riparian re-vegetation program on all
              degraded riparian areas.
       E.     Research, develop, and implement an ecologically appropriate program of
              reintroduction of large woody debris.
       F.     Establish systematic research and monitoring of all protection and
              restoration measures
       G.     Establish systematic agency training.

       The watershed proposal has an increased chance of acceptance by Congress
because it is coupled with a large jobs program.  The proposal focuses on "holding on to
the last best watershed habitats."  This means existing sources of sedimentation,
particularly roads, will have to be removed.  In Oregon's most intact watershed habitats,
there are 30,000 road miles.  Restoration of these sites would entail removing 10 million
cubic yards of sediment, cost $150 million, and provide approximately 4,000 to 6,000
person-years of employment ~ four to six years work for 1,000 people.  If the entire
watershed proposal was implemented on Federal lands the cost would be about $700
million and employ approximately 40,000 to 50,000 workers.
       The restrictions that are being placed on commodity extractions on Federal lands
came from a variety of ecosystem concerns.  But unlike the spotted owl issue, salmonid
restoration has the significant incentive of providing jobs and making the proposal
politically viable.


Frissell, C.A., In Press. Topology of Decline and Extinction of Fishes in the Pacific
       Northwest and California.  Conservation Biology.
Meffe, G.K. 1992. Techno-Arrogance and Halfway Technologies: Salmon Hatcheries on
       the Pacific Coast of North America.  Conservation Biology. 6:350-354.
Moyle, P.B. and G.M. Sato. 1991. On the Design of Preserves to Protect Native Fishes.
       Battle Against Extinction: Native Fish Managment in the American West. pp 151-
       169. W. L. Minckley and J.E. Deacon, eds. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Nehlsen, W., J.E. Williams, and J.A. Lichatowich. 1991. Pacific Salmon at the
       Crossroads:  Stocks at Risk from California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.
       Fisheries 16(2):4-21.
Stanford, J.A. and J.D. Ward. 1992. Management of Aquatic Resources in Large
       Catchments:  Recognizing Interactions between Ecosystem Connectivity and
       Environmental Disturbance.  Watershed Management: Balancing Sustainablity and
       Environmental Change, pp 91-124. R. Naiman, ed. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Newsgroups: sci.bio.ecology
From: casspa@efn.org (Paul Cass)
Subject: Watershed Management #6
Summary: Land use activities and their effect on salmon and watersheds
Keywords: Watershed, salmon, fisheries
Organization: Prototype Eugene Free Net
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 17:16:35 GMT
Lines: 138

The following article is part of a watershed seminar held at Oregon State
University.  The summary was written by Penny Cass and approved by the
speaker.  This article is part of a publication that can be ordered from the
Oregon Water Resources Research Institute, OSU, Strand Ag Hall 210,
Corvallis, OR 97331-2208 (503) 737-4023.  The article may be reprinted
without permission for educational purposes.  If used, Please send 2 copies
of your publication to OWRRI.

Stanley Gregory, OSU, Fisheries and Wildlife

     The listing of the Northern Spotted Owl as an threatened
species triggered such turbulent conflict in the Pacific Northwest
that the President of the United States felt compelled to personally
attempt to break the paralysis.  Gregory warns, "The complexity of
the spotted owl issue must be multiplied 214 times to approach the
complexity of endangered salmonids because of the number of
threatened stocks, their distribution and range, and the variety of
land ownerships."
     The 214 salmonid stocks identified in 1991 by the American
Fisheries Association (AFS) as "at risk of extinction" are only the tip
of the iceberg, Gregory says.  Information on anadromous species ~
those fish which migrate to the ocean and return to fresh water to
spawn ~ is sparse and difficult to accumulate.  The AFS used the
most reliable data in their projections, rejecting anecdotal evidence
but because of the huge investment in staff and time required to
make fish counts, many declining populations may have gone
unreported.  Every fish and aquatic management agency in the
Pacific Northwest has calculated that all salmonid stocks are

Habitat Quality
     Salmonids require riparian habitats with clean, cool water,
stable stream channels, woody debris, and continuous corridors to
the ocean.  The quality of most salmonid habitats is currently listed
as fair to poor.  Many historical practices started the trend of
habitat degradation and current activities have furthered the
decline.  The condition of public lands in the Cascades, unharvested
before World War II, demonstrate now rapidly landscape changes
have occurred.  Loss of forest cover during the last 40 years is so
dramatic that when flying over the forest,  Gregory says, "It looks
like someone took a shotgun and blasted the central Cascades."
     During early logging in Oregon, before the introduction of
roads and railways, the rivers were used for timber transport, with
splash dams to augment the low summer flows.  Juvenile salmon
survival was endangered by the abrupt change in river level, from
trickle to flood, and by the turbulence of the scouring logs, when as
much as 2.5 million board feet of timber was swept down the river
in a single log drive. "You cannot find a coastal stream or river that
hasn't been splash dammed," Gregory says, "and quite often we're
talking about tens to hundreds of these dams."  To get rid of bends
and obstructions that jammed log drives, most rivers were blasted
and cleared, simplified.
     Livestock grazing occurred in the riparian zones of all the
major western river systems.  Sheep attacked the stream slopes too
steep for cattle or horses.  Low elevation rivers have been dammed
for power and water supply, often without fish passage.  Industrial
wastes, such as wool dyes, were dumped in the rivers.  "The river
on any given day would run a different color ~ red, yellow, blue,
green," Gregory says, "and the dyes going in were over 100x F. 
Another major effect on salmonids in the Pacific Northwest has
been harvesting.  Terminal hatcheries, which captured returning
adults, were placed on upper elevation streams.
     In more recent times, clearcuts within watersheds have had
devastating effects on salmonids.  Only 25 percent of clearcuts on
private and state lands were harvested under the Oregon Forest
Practices Act, which requires stream buffers, providing some
riparian protection.  The roads used to harvest timber contribute
substantial sediment to rivers, destroying spawning beds.  Typically,
two miles of road exist for each square mile of forest, but many of
Oregon's forests have four to five miles of road per square mile. 
Landslides and debris flows increase in frequency far beyond
natural occurrence in areas where the vegetation has been
removed.  Where stream bed woody debris no longer traps and
slows landslides, the devastation is much greater.
     Streams in some grazing areas are now "sewers for the
livestock holding facility," Gregory says.  The adverse effects of
cattle grazing in riparian areas are well-documented with the only
debate centering on alternatives.  Livestock grazing is not solely an
Eastern Oregon issue, and even constitutes a problem on the Soap
and Oak Creeks of the OSU campus.
     Roads along rivers reduce the floodplains ~ "the shock
absorbers of the system."  Rivers are still dredged and effluent is
still discharged.  Urban areas discipline channels and remove woody
debris to get water off the land more rapidly.  For this reason, OSU
helps keep Oak Creek free of snags.

Complexity of the Salmonid Issue
     "There's enough blame to go around," Gregory says.  "We're
all consuming water; we're all consuming and using land, and we
consume the fisheries resources."  To become part of the solution
requires an understanding of the complexity of the salmonid issue. 
The appropriate temporal and spatial scale for restoration of
salmonids is larger than a particular watershed, or a particular
state, or even a portion of the continent.  Salmonid recovery
involves the entire North Pacific region.  
     The North Pacific landscape and the range of the
anadromous salmon of the Pacific Northwest, extends from
Sacramento, California, up the coast, around British Columbia and
Alaska, and down the Asian coast to Japan.  The complexity of this
large habitat includes the difference between stream stocks and
estuary stocks, and the different current systems between the
Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, and the Arctic Ocean.
     Until the mid 1970s, scientists assumed that salmonid
recovery required emphasis on fresh water habitats.  The ocean
habitat was presumed to always have sufficient food and exhibit
stable conditions.  In actuality, the Arctic current system is complex
and varies according to global climate patterns.  
     The currents out of the Arctic carry nutrient-rich, cold
waters.  Warm conditions in the Pacific Ocean, as have occurred
during the last decade, push the cold waters north, leaving poor
nutrient conditions along the Pacific Northwest and lower Asian
coasts.  Any scenario of global climate change from increased
atmospheric CO2 has dire implications for southern range
     The maximum daily temperatures of these two streams show
parallel peaks and valleys that coincide in periodicity.  Lobster
Creek temperature is documented as reaching 25xC.  Lethal stream
temperature for salmonids is 22x to 23xC.  Lobster Creek is in the
Coastal range; Lake Creek is east of the Cascades.  The
temperature peaks in the rivers are thus coinciding across Oregon,
indicating that even stream temperature problems reflect larger
climatic issues.
     Complexity exists in management.  The sockeye salmon in
the upper Columbia River have to pass through 17 independent,
uncoordinated management jurisdictions.  In order to coordinate
the various agencies that cross state and national boundaries,
Gregory suggests all parties agree on common principles, such as
those in the Endangered Species Act.
     Protection of salmonids has forced scientists to look beyond
single populations to the quality of the habitat.  Watershed
management addresses a host of human activities that can
happens to salmonid stocks will not be determined solely by
management of local habitats but by ocean current and climate
conditions in the larger North Pacific region.