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Fluvial Geomorphic Response to In-Stream Structures: The Effects of Design, Planning and Restoration of the Comanche Creek Catchment, New Mexico, USA

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9729

Fluvial Geomorphic Response to In-Stream Structures: The Effects of Design, Planning and Restoration of the Comanche Creek Catchment, New Mexico, USA

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Title: Fluvial Geomorphic Response to In-Stream Structures: The Effects of Design, Planning and Restoration of the Comanche Creek Catchment, New Mexico, USA
Author: Weiss, Ryan M.
Subject: Comanche Creek catchment
Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout
Rio Costilla watershed
watershed approach
Comanche Creek Habitat Restoration Project
Upper Rio Grande Basin
collaborative decision-making
in-stream structures
nonpoint source pollution
Clean Water Action Plan (CWAP)
Unified Watershed Assessment (UWA)
Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS)
history of river basin management
Abstract: Anthropogenic impacts to the Comanche Creek catchment of northern New Mexico have resulted in impaired water quality and aquatic habitat for Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Federal and state policies promulgating collaborative, multi-stakeholder watershed-based restoration endeavors have driven the implementation of in-stream, riparian and upland treatments in the catchment. This research addresses restoration endeavors through a review of stream channel and watershed planning, policy and restoration. Drawing upon case studies from current literature, policies driving watershed restoration and the use of in-stream structures to improve aquatic habitat and water quality were reviewed. A stream hydrograph was extrapolated utilizing streamflow evaluations from a hydrologically similar gaged catchment. Analysis of fluvial geomorphic trends was completed through field observations of cross-section, longitudinal profile and channel bottom substrate throughout reaches impacted by in-stream structures. Channel geometry relationships were calculated from observed data. Statistical analyses indicate no significant impact to channel form from in-stream structures. Downstream trends in viii channel geometry suggest overall disequilibrium within the catchment. Monitoring over multiple spatial and temporal scales and a post-project appraisal are recommended for objective determination of success or failure of restoration endeavors. Critical data analysis and reporting to funding agencies by both restoration practitioners and scientists is proposed for policy review and development at federal and state levels to further refine collaborative watershed-based restoration endeavors.
Date: 2009-07-31
Description: A Professional Project report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Water Resources, Water Resources Program, University of New Mexico.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9729


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