Cooperative Research Units
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Characterization of resident rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) seasonal habitats in Willow Creek, Alaska


August 2013 - December 2015


Resident rainbow trout are an important ecological and fishery resource in the Susitna River basin, yet the distribution of their seasonal habitats is poorly understood. Variable spawning site fidelity, long-range movements, and potential land use and climate change effects add to the uncertainty surrounding conservation and management of this species. The objective of this project is to assess the availability and use of seasonal habitats by rainbow trout and to link habitat characteristics (physical habitat, water temperature, and flow) with fish location and movement. Habitat availability will be assessed by spatially-continuous mapping of geomorphic channel types and water temperature metrics, and will be conducted during summer 2013. Habitat use will be quantified by radio-tagging a sample of rainbow trout in 2013 and tracking them throughout the spawning and rearing seasons in 2014. The results from this research will be useful for prioritizing habitat protection efforts in light of anticipated future land use and climate change. This project is funded by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, (Palmer Regional Office) who will also provide logistical support and collaborate on data analysis and interpretation, and the MatSu Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership.

Research Products and Activities


  • Fraley, K.M., and J.A. Falke. 2014. Seasonal movements of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Susitna River Basin, Southcentral Alaska. Alaska Chapter American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Juneau, Alaska, 21-24 October 2014.
  • Fraley, K.M., Falke, J.A., Yanusz, R. and S. Ivey. 2015. Seasonal movements of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Susitna River Basin, Southcentral Alaska. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Portland, OR. 17-20 August 2015.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 101

Masters Students: 236

Phd Students: 160

Post Docs: 58

University Staff: 268

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 676

Scientific Publications: 1886

Presentations: 4311



Funding Agencies

  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  • Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey