Cold Water Refuge Technical Assistance for the Willamette River and Key Tributaries

Investigators: USGS, ODFW, OSU, UO


Coldwater refuges (CWR) are small patches where salmon and steelhead can find some temporary relief from warm water temperatures. The conservation and restoration community in the Willamette basin is increasingly interested in protecting and restoring CWR in order to maintain salmon and steelhead populations with climate change and projected increases in water temperatures. Technical assistance is needed to help transfer the current scientific understanding of CWR to the Willamette conservation and restoration community because:

  1. CWR features are shaped by many factors and vary greatly in the Willamette basin;
  2. The habitat and conservation community does not have an existing conceptual framework for understanding the many differences in CWR;
  3. Understanding the many differences in CWR is critical to identifying and implementing strategic and cost effective actions to protect and enhance CWR.

This project will: