Scott Wells

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Physical Description

1 online resource (xv, 291 pages)


Bioenergetics -- Washington (State) -- Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, Water quality -- Washington (State) -- Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, Freshwater fishes -- Effect of water quality on -- Washington (State) -- Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake




Grand Coulee Dam created Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake as part of the Columbia Basin Project. Located in northeastern Washington State, the Project provides economically important hydropower (19 billion kilowatt hours per year), irrigation (225,000 ha), flood control, and sport fishing ($5 to 20 million annually). A good system understanding aids in balancing these beneficial uses for the 230 km long reservoir. The reservoir's atypical 45-day mean residence time is much shorter than a typical lake, and much longer than for a riverine dam. The spring freshet requires drawdowns of 15 to 20 m for flood control—the driving characteristic of reservoir operations.

A physically based two-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality model, CE-QUAL-W2 Version 3.5 (Cole and Wells, 2006), is coupled with a fish bioenergetics model based on the Stockwell and Johnson model (1997, 1999) to examine the effects of hydrodynamics on the reservoir algae-zooplankton-kokanee food web. This model was applied and calibrated to Lake Roosevelt with model improvements of multiple zooplankton compartments and zooplankton omnivory. Calibration parameters included temperature, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, algae, and zooplankton. The fish bioenergetics model is applied over the entire reservoir model space to generate a spatial and temporal fish growth potential distribution. The fish model refinements include sub-daily time-steps and an optimized vertical foraging strategy.

The linked model suggests that kokanee fish growth potential is seasonally limited by both warm water and prey densities. While the lake ecology is significantly affected by the reservoir operations in general, the pelagic fish growth potential did not appear sensitive to minor changes in reservoir operations. However, the model suggests that the advantageous foraging locations shift seasonally and that optimal foraging strategies are dependent on fish size.


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