Fish Distribution and Habitat Modeling: Ala Wai Watershed, Honolulu, Hawaii

High Definition Fish Surveys (HDFS) were conducted to better understand the current distribution and habitat use of fish with the Ala Wai Watershed streams. The results were used in the USACE Flood Mitigation Project impact assessment on the loss of instream habitat from proposed flood control structures. The HDFS approach allow for very rapid documentation of fish species presence in a wide range of urban stream conditions that were difficult to survey with other survey methods. The HDFS method easily integrates with the High Definition Stream Surveys (HDSS) method providing an excellent understanding of the distribution of habitat and fish species within a stream system.have the means to physically inspect the river. The High Definition Fish Surveys allowed for rapid fish surveys in a wide range of habitats throughout the streams. The video results were used for species identification and habitat use.

Contour Generation to Support Calculation of Exposed Snail Habitat: Coosa River, Alabama

For large dam operators, assessing the impacts of management actions on all of the competing uses for water can be a complex task. For the Alabama Power Company (APC), understanding the impact of a reservoir drawdown on potential habitat of endangered mussel species was one such problem. Bathymetry data was collected utilizing a sonar-based kayak-mounted depth profile system integrated with RTK-GPS to calculate surface areas exposed by reservoir drawdowns for defined contour intervals in the 6-mile Coosa River reach. Collected hydrographic data and overbank elevations from the National Elevation Dataset were imported into ArcGIS and merged into a unified geodatabase. Channel elevations were characterized in areas not represented in the survey by importing the data into HEC-RAS and interpolating missing cross-sections. The cross-sectional data was then exported into HEC-RAS and interpolated cross-sections were modeled at 10 m intervals. Interpolated cross-sections were incorporated with the survey data in an elevation geodatabase, and utilizing geospatial kriging techniques, an elevation surface was generated. This surface was utilized to generate contours for specific elevation ranges to support calculation of endangered snail habitat.

Duck River, Tennessee: A Collaboration

The Duck River is the most biologically diverse river in the United States and is also the source of drinking water for 250,000 people in Middle Tennessee. In recent years, Trutta has completed 155 miles of High Definition Stream Survey (HDSS). Completing this would have been impossible if not for the partnerships. We have partnered with a group of collaborators from various organizations (Duck River Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Columbia Power and Water Systems (CPWS), South Central Tennessee Development District (SCTDD), Tennessee State Parks, Stantec, O’Brien & Gere, and InfloDesign). These surveys collected a huge amount of valuable data to assist managers in making good decisions to achieve their goals, while keeping the Duck River healthy. Flow Modeling Our work began below Normandy Dam with TDEC. They were interested in cross-sections data for TMDL flow modeling at one-mile increments. The Cities of Lewisburg and Columbia each funded additional high-density cross-sections in their respective reservoirs for both drinking water and wastewater purposes. Drinking Water Since then, that data has been used by Columbia Power and Water to estimate current reservoir capacities for various water needs including drought planning. Engineering firms, such as O’Brien and Gere, Stantec, and InfloDesign have used the data for monitoring current drinking water intakes, as well as siting new drinking water intakes in collaboration with different municipalities and the Duck River Agency. River Corridor Data While collecting bathymetric data throughout the years, we also ran the HDSS system to collect longitudinal river corridor data. Every mile of river has StreamView video, depth data, and side scan sonar imagery that can be used for numerous different water resource management purposes. MS4 stormwater permitting, streambank restoration prioritization, and habitat suitability modeling are just some of the ways that this data could be used today. With the surveys already completed, this data can be made available to you at a reduced cost. Other Uses for HDSS Data Trutta has also been in discussions with Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) to help determine habitat for endangered mussel species, with the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) about suitable locations for streambank plantings, and Tennessee State Parks about using the video for information and education.

High-Definition Stream Survey of the Caney Fork River, TN

Cold water releases from the Center Hill Dam support a high-quality trout fishery in the lower portion of the Caney Fork River, TN. The trout fishery and recreational paddling opportunities (kayaks and canoes) draw people from all over the region and greatly benefit the local economy. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages the flow releases from Center Hill Dam to support power production, flood control, and the trout fishery. The USACE plans to upgrade its generation capacity at Center Hill Dam, and as a result, will change the current amount and duration of the generation flows coming out of the dam. The Cumberland Chapter of TU, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) are concerned about the potential negative effects of the flow changes and are interested in ways to improve water quality, trout habitat and fishing success for anglers. We used the HDSS approach to gather continuous, geo-referenced data on 27 miles of the Caney Fork River corridor from the Center Hill Dam downstream to the confluence with the Cumberland River. We captured data on both river banks and depth, water quality, habitat type and bottom characteristics of the river channel. Concurrent to our HDSS data collection, TWRA conducted their electrofishing trout sampling and we outfitted their sampling boat with GPS and video to document the exact locations of fish captures during the survey. The HDSS data documented habitat availability while the TWRA data documented trout habitat use. The information was then used to determine the location and extent of trout habitat, areas susceptible to streambank erosion, areas suitable for instream habitat enhancement, and areas most suitable for wade or boat fishing. The results provided TU, TWRA and TDEC with complete documentation of river corridor conditions, information on the trout population, prioritized locations for trout enhancement projects, and fishing maps to improve angler success. This project highlights the strength of the HDSS approach to efficiently gather a wide range of river corridor information to support both management applications and recreational angler needs. Along with the report, the field data and results from the Caney Fork River HDSS project were provided in digital format.

High-Definition Stream Survey of the Falling Water River, TN

Due in part to the growth of the area, sections of Falling Water River have been listed as impaired on the State’s 303(d) list with stormwater runoff, non-point source pollution, sanitary wastewater, and water withdrawals all contributing to its water quality problems. Effectively managing water resource issues associated with the Falling Water River requires high quality data of the current conditions in river corridor. This primary goal of this project, funded by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), was to collect state-of-the-art, high-resolution, geo-referenced longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys on 23 miles the main channel of the Falling Water River, 5 miles of Pigeon Roost Creek and 2.6 miles of Hudgens Creek to enable efficient characterization of stream channel conditions and provide geomorphic data for modeling purposes. We accomplished this goal by completing four main objectives: collecting high-resolution, geo-referenced longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys on the main channel of Falling Water River, Pigeon Roost Creek and Hudgens Creek to document baseline river bank and instream conditions during June/July 2016, producing stream-view HDSS video, classifying habitat and bank condition and creating a database of collected information, analyzing data by creating aquatic habitat GIS layers for depth, habitat type (pool, riffle, run), and left and right bank condition scores, and making assessments and identifying other potential applications of the HDSS results to support river management. The HDSS project resulted in over 65,000 lines of data covering the survey area. We collected 28 cross-sectional transects to support water management modeling applications. From the longitudinal survey, we assessed the left and right bank condition as a metric of the potential for shoreline erosion. In general, approximately 15% of the stream banks of the Falling Water River were in good or optimal condition. Conversely approximately 26% were in the poor or very poor categories. Most of the Falling Water River system was in average condition. From a distribution perspective, it appears that Hudgens Creek is in poorest overall condition and the upper and lower segments of Falling Water River are in the best condition. We also observed issues associated with losing water reaches, log jams, and livestock management. The High Definition Stream Survey (HDSS) approach proved to be a successful method to rapidly collect a wide range of useful information about the Falling Water River and the HDSS video of the river system will allow decision makers and other parties to see high-definition video of the streambank conditions of the entire survey area from June/July 2016 and have the high resolution classified data to make specific comparisons for different projects.

Potential Infrastructure Impacts and Mitigation: Turkey Creek, Alabama

The proposed 52 mile Birmingham Northern Beltline crosses numerous creeks, and as part of minimizing the environmental impact of the project, documenting instream conditions within the affected creeks is a fundamental component. To aid in documenting the current conditions within the stream channels of Turkey Creek, our team used HDSS to provide up-to-date, geo-referenced video and develop spatially continuous maps of bank and stream conditions. The survey data can be used in many ways but this report will focus on the method’s ability to: 1) provide a baseline characterization of river bank and instream conditions in during the survey, 2) develop aquatic habitat GIS layers for depth, habitat type (pool, riffle, run), substrate type, percent embeddedness, and left and right bank condition scores, 3) document areas of high habitat suitability for endangered darter species, and 4) identify areas that are most suitable for mitigation restoration. Rather than restore streambanks where no darters will benefit from the investment, we used the HDSS data to locate areas with the greatest instream habitat combined with poor streambank condition.

High Definition Stream Survey to Support Stormwater Management: Cleveland, TN

Using the High Definition Stream Survey (HDSS) approach, a comprehensive stream corridor assessment was conducted in Cleveland, TN, covering 28 miles of streams to support Tennessee phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) general stormwater permit. We collected the field data by utilizing GPS, video cameras, and sonar to visually classify conditions and determine modification types for the streambed, streambanks, riparian areas and stormwater outfalls. The project's value lies in the provided videos and spatial data, enabling detailed inspection of instream conditions to inform diverse management decisions in the municipality.

Tallapoosa River High Definition Stream Survey: Tallapoosa River, AL

The High Definition Stream Survey (HDSS) was effectively employed to gather comprehensive data on the Tallapoosa River, covering a 44-mile stretch below Harris Dam. The survey included information on stream bottom, water depth, riverbank conditions and channel cross-section bathymetry, offering valuable insights for river management, restoration, and habitat improvement projects. Specifically, the Alabama Power Company was able to use the data as part of a relicensing study for the R.L. Harris Hydroelectric Project. The recorded HDSS video serves as a baseline for monitoring changes over time. It also enables easy comparison and identification of problem areas, aiding decision-makers who may not have the means to physically inspect the river.

High Definition Stream Survey for Physical Habitat and Water Quality of the Harpeth River, TN

A High Definition Stream Survey was conducted on a 50-mile stretch of the Harpeth River, collecting physical habitat and water quality data in August and September 2022. Parameters included depth, water surface elevation, temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, and more. The survey aimed to support the creation of a QUAL2K model for assessing water quality requirements for a proposed wastewater treatment facility in Franklin, TN. The focus was on data collection to inform the water quality model and support the water treatment facility permit.