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Impacts of Reservoir Operations with Extreme Hydrologic and Climatic Conditions on Fish Sustainability below Shasta Lake
AuthorSapin, Joseph Reginald
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Reservoir managers on the Sacramento River are required by law to provide artificial cold water habitat downstream for endangered winter-run Chinook salmon. At Shasta Lake, a temperature control device was installed on Shasta Dam that allows selective withdrawal of reservoir water at different elevations. There is debate, however, about whether selective withdrawal will be effective under uncertain future conditions such as climate change and extreme hydrologic conditions not observed in the historical record. This study examines the ability of providing artificial cold water habitat by coupling a stochastic model for model input generation with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model capable of simulating selective withdrawal at Shasta Lake. Input from water managers was used to examine variations to stochastically generated scenarios under various operations schedules. A generalized operations schedule was found to perform better in maintaining cold water habitat than either an all-out-the-bottom or all-out-the-uppermost schedule in most cases, even though the all-out-the-uppermost schedule maximized the in-reservoir cold water pool in all simulations.