The Relationship Between Stream Discharge and Dissolved Oxygen Levels at Canyon Creek, and Implications Towards Salmon Performance
Dissolved oxygen levels below a critical concentration can have detrimental effects on the performance and proper physiological function of salmon species. It was proposed that stream discharge could be correlated to the concentration of dissolved oxygen present in streams inhabited by salmon. In the current study, the objective was to determine if there was a correlation between stream discharge (m3/s) and dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) by obtaining measurements at three ripple-water and three still-water sites on two separate days. A significant positive correlation was determined between stream discharge and dissolved oxygen levels at the West Canyon Creek using the Pearson’s r correlation test, with r=0.7392 and a p-value of 0.006. These findings can imply that water flow can have an effect on the optimal salmon performance, which can have larger indirect consequences on the surrounding ecosystem.