Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Model for Juvenile Chinook Salmon

Our juvenile chinook salmon habitat suitability index (HSI) model, developed in 2010 by Batelle's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Marine Sciences Lab, with funding provided by the EPA, combines water temperature, depth, and current velocity information to predict locations that provide suitable in-water habitat for lower Columbia River juvenile Chinook salmon. Suitability thresholds for each of these criteria were adopted from previous studies on juvenile Chinook salmon.

Outputs from a hydrodynamic model developed by the Oregon Health and Science University's Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction provide input information for the HSI. Model results from a typical high, average and low flow year provide an indication of how flow that is output from Bonneville Dam influences the range of stability of habitat patches. From a restoration perspective this data is useful because it provides an indication of the capacity of the system to support fish populations, as well as the relative quality of in-water habitats in proximity to floodplain restoration projects which are being considered. Different restoration techniques may then be considered based on the in-water conditions.

Viewing and Interpreting the Data

The map below shows suitable areas of juvenile Chinook salmon habitat in the lower Columbia River for typical 'high', 'average', and 'low' flow conditions. 


Obtaining the data and additional information


Lower Columbia River Juvenile Chinook Habitat Suitability Index Model Final Report
GIS Files:
To obtain GIS layers for the Lower Columbia River Juvenile Chinook HSI model, please contact our GIS staff


view larger map