Post Doctoral Researcher Mahboobeh Hajiesmaeili and others from Karlstad University’s biology department and the River Ecology and Management (RivEM) group have recently published an article (open access) entitled Individual-based modelling of hydropeaking effects on brown trout and Atlantic salmon in a regulated river where they parameterized and used inSTREAM version 7.2-SD (an individual based model with the capability of considering important fish ecological behavior) as a soft river management tool to analyze the effect of hydropeaking on juvenile fish in Lilla Åråsforsen (located downstream of the Gullspång dam along the Gullspång River in Sweden). Different scenarios of flows with and without hydropeaking were tested to access the impact of hydropeaking on growth, survival and distribution of age 0+ to 1+ juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Perhaps the most interesting finding was that hydropeaking had a modest negative effect on the survival and growth of both species but survival was more negatively affected than growth, especially in smaller juveniles. Most importantly, the study has demonstrated the potential use of IBMs for testing different research questions and assessing and prioritizing alternative management strategies in regulated rivers.
The paper is open access and can be found at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/rra.4037