Headwater stream management issues in Georgia : streamside management zone effectiveness and small trout stream hydrologic characterization
Rivenbark, Byron Lane
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Characterization and management of headwater streams are becoming an area of emphasis for aquatic ecologists and land managers. Two issues regarding headwater stream protection were selected for evaluation. The first study investigated the frequency and characteristics of areas that produced concentrated flow and sediment from clearcuts and the efficiency of streamside management zones (SMZs) in dispersing concentrated flow. These ephemeral concentrated flow areas occurred at a rate of one for every twenty acres of site and occurred when the product of contributing area, bare soil, and slope gradient was larger. The second study evaluated metrics for estimating mean annual flow (MAF) in small ungaged trout streams. Accurate MAF metrics are needed since current Georgia state law allows exemptions to buffer protection rules for streams with a MAF of 25 gpm or less. A trout stream with a MAF of 25 gpm drains about 16 acres and is intermittent.