CHANNEL CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO WOODY
Jonathan Klotz, Sherman Swanson'
The Lower Truckee River incised and lost access to its floodplain
over thirty years ago. Subsequently, the river has widened
and in some locations developed a braided channel.
Woody riparian vegetation was largely absent along the river
during that period. In 1987, a band ofFremont Cottonwoods
(Populus fremont;') and willows(Salix sp.) became established.
Woody vegetation increases the roughness ofthe flood
channel, which decreases the river's velocity. Decreased
velocities reduce the competence of the river and induce
No significant flood events occurred on the Truckee River
from 1987 until 1995. Spring flooding occurred during 1995
and 1996. Data collect on six cross-sections on the lower
river show that the channel narrowed and deepened in response
to these events. Sediments deposited on the floodplain
downstream of woody vegetation. To continue the regeneration
of woody vegetation, flows were managed to
accommodate the water needs ofthe riparian species during
1995 and 1996. Ongoing regeneration of woody riparian
vegetation should continue to increase channel roughness,
inducing hydraulic change and stabilizing the channel.
Key words: riparian vegetation, Truckee River, geomorphology,
-IEnvironmental and Resource Sciences of Nevada, Reno, 1000 Valley
Road, Mail Stop175, Reno NV 89512