Publication Date

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences


Jerry J. Smith


Benthic, Drift, Macroinvertebrate, Steelhead, Uvas, Uvas Creek

Subject Areas

Conservation biology; Natural resource management; Entomology


I sampled macroinvertebrates in May, July, and October 2008 in Uvas Creek, a reservoir-regulated stream in south Santa Clara County, California, to assess what factors (including canopy closure, turbidity, and stream flow) downstream of the reservoir were related to food availability for rearing juvenile Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). I found benthic and drifting macroinvertebrate biomass was considerably greater during most months in the more open-canopied two sites in the downstream reach as compared to the densely shaded, more turbid and silty two sites in the upstream reach. Abundance of important drifting aquatic invertebrates in May (chironomids, simuliids, and baetids) was proportional to benthic abundance, but large hydropsychids were relatively scarce in the drift. Terrestrial drift abundance correlated with canopy density, but differences were small compared to the substantial increase in aquatic drift in sunnier sites. Thinning of the canopy at select locations and reduction of sediment input to Uvas Creek and its tributaries due to vineyard and other operations could increase benthic macroinvertebrate productivity in the upstream reach, which would increase food availability for rearing juvenile Steelhead.