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The Ecological Significance of High Flows on Alluvial Rivers
Hosted by Northwest Environmental Training Center

This dynamic and hands-on course provides an introduction to the science of flood dynamics and why they are important to stream and river ecology. High flows flush organic matter from the channel, maintain channel geometry by transporting sediment, form new channels by geomorphic processes, and provide essential conditions for fish migration and spawning.

Over the course of this two-day workshop, attendees will learn methods for developing specific high flow recommendations based on streamflow frequency, magnitude, duration, and seasonality, and discuss how these flows vary with different hydrologic regimes and flow influences such as water storage reservoirs, hydroelectric dams, municipal appropriations, and other water uses. Day 1 will be spent in the classroom, and Day 2 will be spent in the field.

The field day will include a close-up review of stream habitat improvement projects in the area and visiting habitat projects that are using natural materials to complement restoration of high flows. These projects are excellent examples of the ecological significance of restoring high flows. More details on the field trip will be posted as they become available.

Environmental professionals must understand High Flows because regulatory agencies, public utilities, water users, fish and wildlife groups, and others develop environmental flow requirements to protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat in streams and rivers. Recent advances in instream flow science document the importance of protecting and restoring high flows in setting environmental flow requirements. Attendees will gain valuable insights on the analysis, regulation, and importance of high flow hydrology.



For general information contact Christa Lilly by telephone at 425-270-3274 or via e-mail at

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