Hancock Springs Natural Laboratory
Located in the Methow River Sub-basin of north central Washington, Hancock Springs is a small (1.6 km-long), first order spring creek located at RKM 96 on the Methow River. Its small size and unique ecological conditions (annually stable hydrograph and thermograph) provide an ideal opportunity to characterize a lotic food web. Unlike larger tributaries used for natural production throughout the Columbia Basin, Hancock Spring’s physical and biological attributes are ideal for high resolution fine-scale sampling. This scale of sampling is ideal to test assumptions related to restoration actions and construct analysis tools.
All of the basins listed salmonids (spring chinook, steelhead and bull trout), as well high densities of non-native (brook trout) are found within the study site.
The study area includes two 300 meter reaches. Reach 1 (upstream) was restored in 2011 and represents the complex reach (figure ?). Reach 2 (downstream) remains fairly unchanged and represents the degraded reach (figure ?). To keep track of fish movement, pit tag interrogators were installed at the bottom and top of both reaches (figure ?). Study design, restoration work and sampling methods are described in detail within document (Link).