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Ecological Significance of High Flows on Streams and Rivers in the Upper Midwest
Hosted by Northwest Environmental Training Center

This dynamic and hands-on course provides an introduction to the science of flood dynamics and why they are important to stream and river ecology. High flows flush organic matter from the channel, maintain channel geometry by transporting sediment, form new channels by geomorphic processes, and provide essential conditions for fish migration and spawning.

Over the course of this two-day workshop, attendees will learn methods for developing specific high flow recommendations based on streamflow frequency, magnitude, duration, and seasonality, and discuss how these flows vary with different hydrologic regimes and flow influences such as water storage reservoirs, hydroelectric dams, municipal appropriations, and other water uses. Day 1 will be spent in the classroom, and Day 2 will be spent in the field.

The field day will include a close-up review of stream habitat improvement projects in the Crystal Lake area and visiting habitat projects that are using natural materials to complement restoration of high flows. These projects are excellent examples of the ecological significance of restoring high flows. More details on the field day will be posted as they become available.

Environmental professionals must understand High Flows because regulatory agencies, public utilities, water users, fish and wildlife groups, and others develop environmental flow requirements to protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat in streams and rivers. Recent advances in instream flow science document the importance of protecting and restoring high flows in setting environmental flow requirements. Attendees will gain valuable insights on the analysis, regulation, and importance of high flow hydrology.

The material is designed to be accessible to those new to the field and also to enhance the knowledge of experienced planners, engineers and biologists.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

-Review proposals for instream flow recommendations that include high flow components
-Discuss and present alternatives for high flow recommendations based on stream or river system characteristics
-Participate in interdisciplinary analyses of high flows
-Understand how to develop recommendations for preserving or restoring high flows based on magnitude, duration, and frequency criteria.

Intended Audience:

Environmental professionals, planners, engineers, consultants, public officials, decision-makers, and others using instream flow assessments for water resources allocation, development, and related environmental studies. Environmental management personnel from public utilities, resource agencies, and fish and wildlife groups will benefit from this course, as will members of citizen's organizations who want to gain greater understanding of the role of instream flows in protecting and restoring fish and wildlife habitat.

NOTE: Attendees should dress appropriately for the weather conditions (it could be raining and cold) and bring footwear and clothing for outdoor field work. Hiking boots or strong rubber boots are recommended, although we will not be wading in the river. We will be walking on floodplain and riverbank trails with moderate grades for relatively short distances. Lunch will be provided on the day of the field trip.

This course is part of the Midwest Water and Policy Workshop Series.

$50 discount: Attendees will receive an additional $50 discount off their order when registering at the same time for "The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Writing the Perfect EA/FONSI, or EIS" or "The New Approaches and Implementation Methods for Municipal Stormwater Management".

$100 discount: Attendees will receive a $100 discount off their order total when registering for all three courses at the same time.

Registration: *Reduced tuition is available for Native American tribes; government employees; nonprofits; students; and NAEP, NEBC, NWAEP members. You may register via the link below or by calling the Northwest Environmental Training Center at (425) 270-3274. Online registration is strongly encouraged.

Please wait to receive a course confirmation email, roughly one month prior to the class, before making any travel arrangements.

Tuition: $695 / $645*
$645 / $595* (Before September 21, 2012)

For general information contact Tracy Clark by telephone at 425-270-3274 or via e-mail at

 Upcoming Events

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Previous Events (click to view/hide)
Bullet  Crystal Lake, IL
  October 25, 2012 - October 26, 2012
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