Land-use Impacts and Restoration

Forestry, agriculture, mining, oil exploration and urban development all have impacts on aquatic systems and salmonids. We have examined how removing riparian and upslope forests affect salmonid behaviour, movements, growth and survival. Research has been conducted in both coastal and interior locales of British Columbia to examine how differences in climate, topography and hydrology affect how land use impacts salmonids. We have found that even modest protection of riparian areas can have large benefits to stream ecosystems and that some species of fish are resilient to habitat alterations and others less so. We have also found that large wood left or placed in streams is one of the most important aspects for protecting fish. Impacted habitats have been rehabilitated throughout the province and we have studied how effective these efforts have been for salmonids.

Selected Publications

Mellina, E., Hinch, S.G. (2009) Influences of riparian logging and in-stream large-wood removal on pool habitat and salmonid density and biomass: a meta-analysis. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39: 1280-1301.

De Groot, J.D., Hinch, S.G., Richardson, J.S. (2007) Effects of logging second-growth forests on headwater populations of coastal cutthroat trout: a 6-year, multi-stream, before-and-after field experiment. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 136: 211-226.

Cooperman, M.S., Hinch, S.G., Branton, M.A., Bennett, S., Galbraith, R.V., Heise, B., Quigley, J.T. (2007) Streambank restoration effectiveness: Lessons learned from a comparative study. Fisheries 32: 278-290.

Fuchs, S.A., Hinch, S.G., Mellina, E. (2003) Effects of streamside logging on stream macroinvertebrate communities and habitat in the sub-boreal forests of British Columbia, Canada.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research 33: 1408-1415. 

Mellina, E., Moore, R.D., Hinch, S.G., Macdonald, J.S., Pearson, G. (2002) Stream temperature responses to clearcut logging British Columbia: the moderating influences of groundwater and headwater lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 59: 1886-1900. 

For other publications, please see our Publications page.