Fisheries and water managers often use population models to aid in understanding the effect of alternative water management or restoration actions on anadromous fish populations. We developed the Stream Salmonid Simulator (S3) to help resource managers evaluate the effect of management alternatives on juvenile salmonid populations. S3 is a deterministic stage-structured population model that tracks daily growth, movement, and survival of juvenile salmon. A key theme of the model is that river flow affects habitat availability and capacity, which in turn drives density dependent population dynamics. To explicitly link population dynamics to habitat quality and quantity, the river environment is constructed as a one-dimensional series of linked habitat units, each of which has an associated daily time series of discharge, water temperature, and usable habitat area or carrying capacity. The physical characteristics of each habitat unit and the number of fish occupying each unit, in turn, drive survival and growth within each habitat unit and movement of fish among habitat units.
The purpose of this report is to outline the underlying general structure of the S3 model that is common among different applications of the model. We have developed applications of the S3 model for juvenile fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the lower Klamath River. Thus, this report is a companion to current application of the S3 model to the Trinity River (in review). The general S3 model structure provides a biological and physical framework for the salmonid freshwater life cycle. This framework captures important demographics of juvenile salmonids aimed at translating management alternatives into simulated population responses. Although the S3 model is built on this common framework, the model has been constructed to allow much flexibility in application of the model to specific river systems.Keyword Tags: