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Hines Spring
Lower Colorado River
Walker River


Provo River


Virginia Key

Other Projects

Ecological Projects >> Recent Staff Studies


Mud Meadows

Macroinvertebrate Sampling – OBEC biologists inventoried aquatic macroinvertebrates in hot springs and mapped spring vegetation communities for completion of a spring complex habitat assessment.

Little Valley

Impacts of Livestock Grazing on Riparian Birds – A study of bird populations and avian nest success was conducted to identify relationships with livestock grazing regimes.

Truckee River

Instream Flows, Truckee River – OBEC assessed instream flow requirements to restore and maintain a healthy ecosystem throughout the Truckee River corridor.

Storm Drain Assessment, Truckee River – OBEC assessed the impact of combining several small storm drains into a single large drain that empties into the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada

Instream Flows, South Truckee Meadows – OBEC assessed instream flow requirements for both biological and geomorphic goals.

Bird Communities and Habitats along the Truckee River – OBEC completed a multiple-year study of breeding birds along the Truckee River and their habitats to develop priorities for habitat enhancement and restoration projects, and to determine progress toward native bird recovery under current habitat restoration attempts.

Status and Habitat Use of Amphibians and Reptiles of the Truckee River Corridor – OBEC completed a two year study of distribution, abundance, and habitat use of native amphibians and reptiles along the Truckee River corridor.  The study was designed to aid in conservation planning for these species and restoration designs for their habitats.

Cottonwood Dendrochronology, Truckee River – OBEC completed a tree ring study to date cottonwood establishment along the river corridor and determine relationships with managed river flows.

Tamarisk Dendrochronology, Truckee River  OBEC collected tamarisk root crowns from a site near Marble Bluff Dam on Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Lands to determine ages of tamarisk shrubs.  Statistical analyses were used to decipher past drivers of tamarisk establishment.

Carson River

Riparian Vegetation Mapping on the Carson River - OBEC mapped all riparian vegetation types along the Carson River, to determine the health of the river corridor and formulate restoration actions.

Macroinvertebrate Sampling – Aquatic macroinvertebrates were sampled along the middle Carson River from the Nevada state line to Lahontan Reservoir.  Data is presented in Otis Bay’s Middle Carson River Assessment report. 

Walker River

Sediment Transport Study, Walker River– OBEC implemented this study to determine the amount, type, and rate of sediment moving with flows in the river, to give river managers the information needed to better manage the sediment load in the Walker River system for the combined enhancement of river operations and ecosystem function.

Breeding Bird Communities and Habitat Modeling on the Walker River – OBEC completed point count and area search surveys to develop models for nesting bird habitats along the Walker River corridor that will assist with restoration design development.

West Walker River – Studies that included macroinvertebrate sampling, sediment size distribution, and water clarity were completed to assess a stretch of stream for trout habitat suitability.

Vegetation Mapping – OBEC field-mapped and digitized fine-scale vegetation maps of the lower Walker River riparian corridor, from the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area downstream to below Weber Dam, using high-resolution orthoimagery.

Vegetation Distribution Analyses – Fine-scale vegetation maps were paired with environmental variables (e.g., distance above surface water, groundwater depth, soil characteristics, disturbance levels) to determine sites that are suitable and unsuitable for plants of interest.

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Fall Migration Bird Banding, Pahranagat NWR – OBEC conducted a 3-year inventory of fall migrating songbirds to determine current habitat use and to guide potential habitat restoration actions.

Moapa National Wildlife Refuge

Macroinvertebrate Sampling, Pederson Spring – OBEC biologists sampled and identified macroinvertebrates inhabiting a restored stream channel on the Moapa National Wildlife Refuge to monitor restoration success.

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Ash Meadows Macroinvertebrate Inventory – In collaboration with Dr. Larry Stevens, Otis Bay biologists collected and catalogued terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate specimens from the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.  Collections were made with malaise traps, UV light sampling, dip nets, kick nets, and extensive spot sampling.  Collected specimens are housed at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff.

Spring Sediment Study – OBEC collected spring pool measurements for multiple springs in the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.  Because many of the springs have been altered from their historical dimensions, sediment samples were collected to determine relationships between sediment particle size and spring discharge.  These relationships were examined to develop potential spring pool restoration recommendations.


Diamond Fork Creek

Breeding Bird Study – Data from a 3-year study of breeding birds, habitat assessment, and multivariate analysis of bird-habitat associations were used to derive recommendations for habitat conservation.

Instream Flow Study – OBEC completed an assessment of environmental instream flows to support a broad array of native organisms.

Provo River

Bird Communities and Habitats – In collaboration with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, OBEC studied bird populations and habitat use to determine riparian habitat restoration recommendations for the Provo River Restoration Project.

Spotted Frog Restoration and Habitat Enhancement Planning – OBEC completed a six-year study of spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) populations and natural movements, designed wetland habitats and participated in a successful repatriation effort.

Sampling invertebrates along the Carson River.
Sampling invertebrates along the Carson River.
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