Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 143–150 | Cite as

A lateral-displacement flume for fish behavior and stranding studies during simulated pulsed flows

  • Sarah A. Cocherell
  • Stephanie N. Chun
  • Dennis E. Cocherell
  • Lisa C. Thompson
  • A. Peter Klimley
  • Joseph J. CechJr.


In regulated rivers, fluctuating water depths associated with pulsed discharges may strand small fish in side channels and pools. Quantitative assessments of stranded fish are difficult in field studies (e.g., due to unknown effects of avian and terrestrial vertebrate predators). To assess such lateral displacement and stranding on juvenile stream fishes, we designed, constructed, and tested (with three species) a 2 × 1-m, lateral-displacement flume. The flume featured a main channel that never drained and a raised, wide “floodplain” channel that alternately flooded, with a simulated pulse, and became dewatered. The floodplain contained four pools, with different shapes and draining capacities, in which fish could become stranded as the water level subsided. Fish-stranding rates (8%) in this relatively compact laboratory flume, after exposure to simulated pulsed stream flows, were comparable to those observed in past investigations using larger, artificial streams.


Hardhead Mylopharodon conocephalus Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss Sacramento sucker Catostomus occidentalis 



We thank D. Kratville, M. Fish, R. Isquith, J. Miranda, A. Kawabata, G. Jones, T. MacColl, L. Mirise (Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, UC Davis) for technical assistance; P. Moyle and P. Crain for fish collection guidance; P. Lutes and E. Hallen (UC Davis Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture [CABA]); M. Watnick for statistical help; D. Redfern and W. Cox (American River Trout Hatchery) for trout; T. Salamunovich (Thomas Payne and Associates) for assistance with bank measurements; four anonymous reviewers for helpful manuscript improvements; and D. Conklin, C. Young, and J. O’Hagan of the Pulsed Flow Program Management Team, and the Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER) of the California Energy Commission for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah A. Cocherell
    • 1
  • Stephanie N. Chun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dennis E. Cocherell
    • 1
  • Lisa C. Thompson
    • 1
  • A. Peter Klimley
    • 1
  • Joseph J. CechJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology DepartmentUniversity of California DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Water ResourcesSacramentoUSA

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