Mapping Instream Riverine Habitat Using High-                 Precision GPSA Project in Support of the Experimental Introd...
Overview Background on Rio Grande silvery minnow    introduction   Rationale and approach to river mapping   GPS Data C...
Project Support Funding for study USGS SSP, USFWS, MRGESP    CollaborativeKey Contacts –   Aimee Roberson, Fish and Wild...
Biology of Hybognathus amarus   Historically found throughout the Rio Grande    and Pecos Basins. Population numbers    d...
Historical Change to Rio Grande   Drivers of change     Altered flow, peak flows and        sediment transport       Ag...
RGSM Re-introduction to BBNP   December 2008, silvery minnows were re-    introduced in the Rio Grande as a non-    essen...
Release Sites/Study Area
Project Objectives River mapping and fish assemblage collocated with    release sites to understand variability among rel...
Rationale for Mesohabitat Approach USFWS wanted a habitat component and fish assemblage  survey in the early stages of th...
Mesohabitat Our Mesohabitat Scheme: A priori classification of “eco-  hydraulic” habitats biased towards including more b...
Selected River Flows Used IHA to determine target flows (Nature    Conservancy)   Winter to spring low-flow target = 200...
GPS Data Collection   Map and characterize instream habitat    (mesohabitat-scale approach)   Create a detailed reach ma...
Equipment   Trimble® DSM™ 232 modular GPS receiver     Omnistar Subcription (XP) - offers GPS correction        services...
Mapping Methods Capture water’s edge on both banks was    mapped first creating a boundary for each site   Next, each me...
GPS used to capture water’s edge                        Rio Grande @ Terlingua Creek
Complete delineations and attribute                                   Run                SCB                            Po...
Results – Data Collection/Mapping   FY 2010 Sampling     low-flow target (200-400cfs)     high-pulse flow target (500-1...
More Results – Extreme low-flow   FY 2011 Sampling       West Texas and throughout under “Extreme        Drought”   Cap...
Low flows - May 2011
RAPID       RIFFLE         RUN        POOL   FOREWATER   BACKWATER   EMBAYMENTSUBMERGED BAR
Lessons learned…   Requires use of multiple flotation devices –    Canoe/Kayak, Zodiac, Human   Effort to limit impact o...
More…   Laptop battery good for about 4 hours     External gives us +6 hours   Considered use of PDA but opted for    T...
Physical Characterization - Habitat                       •Depth, velocity, substrate, at                       3 to 5 poi...
Fish Assemblage – (Wadeable)   One seine haul per mesohabitat randomly    selected from nine possible locations.     Two...
Guild Association – VelocityH. amarus                       N. braytoni
Project Data Model   Geographic Data (GPS)                       Tabular Data     Polygons                             ...
How do we use this technology?For RGSM Project: Project management of data resources Answer complex spatial queries    ...
Next Steps   Complete data analysis and writing of USGS    Scientific Investigation Report and a journal    article this ...
Questions?http://tx.usgs.gov/projects/bigbend/mappingSMhabitat.html   Daniel Pearson – dpearson@usgs.gov   Bruce Moring...
Txgio presentation rgsm_gps_pearson_062012
Txgio presentation rgsm_gps_pearson_062012
Txgio presentation rgsm_gps_pearson_062012
Txgio presentation rgsm_gps_pearson_062012
Txgio presentation rgsm_gps_pearson_062012
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Txgio presentation rgsm_gps_pearson_062012

  1. 1. Mapping Instream Riverine Habitat Using High- Precision GPSA Project in Support of the Experimental Introduction of the Federally Endangered Rio Grande Silvery Minnow (Hybognathus amarus) into the Big Bend Reach of the Rio Grande Daniel K. Pearson Bruce Moring Geographer/GIS Specialist Senior Biologist USGS Texas Water Science Center USGS Texas Water Science Center Austin, Texas Austin, Texas dpearson@usgs.gov jbmoring@usgs.gov 512.927.3561 512.927.3585 U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey
  2. 2. Overview Background on Rio Grande silvery minnow introduction Rationale and approach to river mapping GPS Data Collection  Methods, equipment and musings Results and Data products
  3. 3. Project Support Funding for study USGS SSP, USFWS, MRGESP CollaborativeKey Contacts – Aimee Roberson, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Project Lead, USFWS, Alpine, TX Jason Remshardt and staff, support for fish assemblage survey, USFWS, Albuquerque, NM Rio Grande Silvery Minnow Technical Advisory Team (USFWS, Texas Parks and Wildlife Service, UT-Pan American University, Big Bend National Park, and USGS) Mickey Porter, Sarah Beck, USACE, Albuquerque, NM
  4. 4. Biology of Hybognathus amarus Historically found throughout the Rio Grande and Pecos Basins. Population numbers dropped after 1950s. Sustained population in Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico Pelagic spawners, produce large numbers of semi-buoyant eggs Prefer low-velocity habitat with sandy or silty substrates Preferred habitats including side channels, backwaters, and oxbows associated with a meandering channel. Algal grazers.
  5. 5. Historical Change to Rio Grande Drivers of change  Altered flow, peak flows and sediment transport  Aggrading and narrowing channel  Invasives (Salt cedar, exotic river cane)  Changes to flow contribution from Rio Conchos  Images: Taken near Black Dike (Big Bend NP) Dean and Schmidt, Role of feedback mechanisms in historic channel changes of the lower Rio Grande in the Big Bend region., Geomorphology, 2010
  6. 6. RGSM Re-introduction to BBNP December 2008, silvery minnows were re- introduced in the Rio Grande as a non- essential experimental population under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act 1.43 million minnows released to date with 4 releases (2008-11), one additional release (2012) Release sites – 1. Contrabando, 2. Santa Elena (Terlingua Creek), 3. Rio Grande Village, 4. Stillwell Crossing (Adam’s Ranch)
  7. 7. Release Sites/Study Area
  8. 8. Project Objectives River mapping and fish assemblage collocated with release sites to understand variability among release sites Determine the area, frequency, and physical characteristics of in-channel river habitats at the mesohabitat scale over a range of river flows. Determine how fish assemblage varies (composition and distribution) among mesohabitat types and between reaches over a range of river flows with focus on Rio Grande silvery minnow population
  9. 9. Rationale for Mesohabitat Approach USFWS wanted a habitat component and fish assemblage survey in the early stages of the introduction and in the context of river flow! Eco-hydraulic Mesohabitat River Distribution Channel of Geomorph. Aquatic Biota “.…interest has grown in testing the hypothesis that significant variation in assemblage among streams is explicable in terms of hydrological patterns, which can vary substantially over short geographic distances (Poff and Allen, 1995).”
  10. 10. Mesohabitat Our Mesohabitat Scheme: A priori classification of “eco- hydraulic” habitats biased towards including more backwater and slack-water habitats important for Rio Grande silvery minnows and similar species. Point bar Eddy Pool Inundated point bar Riffle ` Run Mesohabitats used in this study include: backwater, forewater, embayment, rapid, riffle, run/glide, pool (eddy, main channel and isolated), submerged channel and point bars.
  11. 11. Selected River Flows Used IHA to determine target flows (Nature Conservancy) Winter to spring low-flow target = 200 – 400 cfs Late spring to mid summer within-bank high pulse = 500 – 1500 cfs Overbank flooding flow = using peak of fall 2008 event (ca. 50,000 cfs)
  12. 12. GPS Data Collection Map and characterize instream habitat (mesohabitat-scale approach) Create a detailed reach map at each targeted flows using high-performance GPS receiver in conjunction with high-resolution remotely sensed imagery Create spatially enabled database to capture geographic (map), physical habitat, fish assemble and
  13. 13. Equipment Trimble® DSM™ 232 modular GPS receiver  Omnistar Subcription (XP) - offers GPS correction services that improves the accuracy of a GPS receiver, allows sub-foot realtime positioning  Fed directly in GIS (no post-processing) Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 Hi Capacity External Laptop Battery
  14. 14. Mapping Methods Capture water’s edge on both banks was mapped first creating a boundary for each site Next, each mesohabitat was mapped by delineating its perimeter with the GPS receiver mounted in a boat or in a backpack by wading Each mesohabitat (e.g., rapid, riffle, run, pool, glide, embayment, backwater) edited and stored on a field laptop as geo-referenced polygons using ArcGIS
  15. 15. GPS used to capture water’s edge Rio Grande @ Terlingua Creek
  16. 16. Complete delineations and attribute Run SCB Pool Run Rio Grande @ Terlingua Creek
  17. 17. Results – Data Collection/Mapping FY 2010 Sampling  low-flow target (200-400cfs)  high-pulse flow target (500-1500cfs) Low-flow sampling divided by flash flood event ~10,000cfs High-pulse flow mapping possible due to sustained release from Rio Conchos dams (MX)
  18. 18. More Results – Extreme low-flow FY 2011 Sampling  West Texas and throughout under “Extreme Drought” Capture “bottom out” flows – May 2011  Historically low flows – 1st Qtr 2011  No measureable rainfall since September 2010 Full habitat assessment, mapping study reaches and fish assemblage data
  19. 19. Low flows - May 2011
  20. 20. RAPID RIFFLE RUN POOL FOREWATER BACKWATER EMBAYMENTSUBMERGED BAR
  21. 21. Lessons learned… Requires use of multiple flotation devices – Canoe/Kayak, Zodiac, Human Effort to limit impact of our presence on habitat Low flow mapping much easier than high- pulse (wadeable) Putting equipment in harm’s way  GPS – Marine unit  Panasonic laptop – Water “resistant”
  22. 22. More… Laptop battery good for about 4 hours  External gives us +6 hours Considered use of PDA but opted for Toughbook for larger screen size Other GPS units would get us better accuracy but drawbacks  Cost/Time  Post-processing/Direct feed into ArcGIS Current imagery source Maps exported to GeoPDF (iPad)
  23. 23. Physical Characterization - Habitat •Depth, velocity, substrate, at 3 to 5 points in each mesohabitat. •Fish cover along 1-meter wide bank-to-bank transect at each point. •Margin or near-shore habitat at mid-point transect evaluated for percent periphyton cover and dominant substrate using .25 m2 quadrat
  24. 24. Fish Assemblage – (Wadeable) One seine haul per mesohabitat randomly selected from nine possible locations.  Two or more seine hauls in some very large runs. Per seine haul  Length, depth and velocity (center point), dominant substrate, and counts per species recorded. Left bank Right bank Mesohabitat
  25. 25. Guild Association – VelocityH. amarus N. braytoni
  26. 26. Project Data Model Geographic Data (GPS)  Tabular Data  Polygons  Site information  Low-pulse  Physical Measures  High-pulse  Margin  Extreme low-pulse  Fish  Points  Sampling  Fish cover  Lines  Fish habitat  ADCP  Water quality  Electrofishing Relationship Class
  27. 27. How do we use this technology?For RGSM Project: Project management of data resources Answer complex spatial queries  Using GIS or via MS Access  Data can be exported to other formats as needed for analysis Web application development  Online access  Mapping components
  28. 28. Next Steps Complete data analysis and writing of USGS Scientific Investigation Report and a journal article this summer Online publication of project database In first year of similar study in Middle Rio Grande (Albuq – Elephant Butte Reservoir) in New Mexico
  29. 29. Questions?http://tx.usgs.gov/projects/bigbend/mappingSMhabitat.html Daniel Pearson – dpearson@usgs.gov Bruce Moring – jbmoring@usgs.gov

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