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Ethan Mower

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Reservoirs impounded over floodplain rivers are unique because they may include within their upper reaches extensive shallow water stored over preexistent floodplains. Because of their relatively flat topography and riverine origin, floodplains in the upper reaches of reservoirs provide broad expanses of vegetation within a narrow range of reservoir water levels. Elsewhere in the reservoir, topography creates a band of shallow water along the contour of the reservoir where vegetation often does not grow. Thus, as water levels rise, floodplains may be the first vegetated habitats inundated within the reservoir. We hypothesized that shallow water in reservoir floodplains would attract spawning white crappies Pomoxis...
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Flood control reservoirs are typically managed through rule curves (i.e. target water levels) which control the storage and release timing of flood waters. Changes to rule curves are often contemplated and requested by various user groups and management agencies with no information available about the actual flood risk of such requests. Methods of estimating flood risk in reservoirs are not easily available to those unfamiliar with hydrological models that track water movement through a river basin. We developed a quantile regression model that uses readily available daily water-level data to estimate risk of spilling. Our model provided a relatively simple process for estimating the maximum applicable water level...
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Managing water storage and withdrawals in many reservoirs requires establishing seasonal targets for water levels (i.e., rule curves) that are influenced by regional precipitation and diverse water demands. Rule curves are established as an attempt to balance various water needs such as flood control, irrigation, and environmental benefits such as fish and wildlife management. The processes and challenges associated with amending rule curves to balance multiuse needs are complicated and mostly unfamiliar to non-US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) natural resource managers and to the public. To inform natural resource managers and the public we describe the policies and process involved in amending rule curves in...
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