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Potomac Instream Flow Methods Workshop

Introduction Agenda Participants List Panelists Presentations Breakout Group Reports Panel Recommendations Potomac Flow-by Studies

Four breakout groups discussed issues related to their specific areas of interest, and they each created three recommendations for the expert panel during a working lunch. Information gaps were identified by each of the groups and recommendations for additional research/work follow. The panelistsí questions were addressed during the breakout group presentations and the workshop was adjourned to allow the panelists to develop their recommendations.

Breakout Group Reports

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV)

    1. What are the effects of daily oxygen cycles and pH, and the causation and implications of lowered flow within SAV beds?
    2. What are the microhabitat effects of SAV? (e.g., stratification, thermocline)
    3. What are the effects of the C&O canal? Is there a possibility of using the canal to test low flow effects on SAV beds and water quality?

Birds, Mammals, Amphibians and Reptiles

    1. During low flow events, would predation of fish and mussels by birds and mammals increase to a point of concern?
    2. Is there a benefit to birds and mammals during low flow through increased food availability?
    3. Would persistent decreased flow lead to increased contaminant levels in raptors and other scavengers?


    1. What are the biological requirements in terms of hydrology?
    2. Biological monitoring is needed to collect habitat/hydrologic information. (e.g., where do fish go during droughts?)
    3. What are the acceptable levels of accuracy and tolerance in Adaptive Management models?
Additional questions/points raised by the hydrology group:
  • Will the stretch of river upstream of Seneca Pool be studied?
  • Is nutrient loading more important than flow?
  • The choice of model must take into consideration the biological objective.
  • Monitoring seems to be a good solution, especially if modeling cannot be comprehensive enough to answer questions.
  • It is worth collecting anecdotal information from park rangers and others who have intimate knowledge of the river?
  • What are the roles of voluntary and mandatory restrictions?

Fish and Mussels

    1. Tried to identify key species/representatives of fish and mussels from known information. These were based on factors such as abundance, sensitivity, status (e.g., endangered, threatened), and public interest.
    2. Need more biological data. The long-term goal is to develop a monitoring program for the study area based on a multi-metric approach.
    3. Need an agreement that in the short-term, without biological information, a hydrologic analysis could be done that provides habitat templates for the study area.
Dr. Parasiewicz added the following fourth point:
    4. Exotic species are an important factor and should be included in the study.

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This page was updated on May 30, 2003.