Cold-Water Refuges

Full Title

Does current science support the management and policy needs of cold-water refuges for salmonids in a changing world?


This project represents the first interdisciplinary assessment of current science and policies relevant to managing cold-water refuges at a global scale. Fish, especially salmonids, are an important economic resource with cultural significance to many indigenous groups, and they are indicators of aquatic ecosystem health due to their sensitivity to pollution, including thermal degradation. Thus, many regulatory, management, and conservation organizations understand that protecting, restoring, and enhancing salmonid cold-water refuges in rivers across the globe is key to future survivability. Here, we aim to link the current science of cold-water refuges with existing and potentially applicable policies to examine how science and policy can be integrated to support management strategies of cold-water refuges. To answer this question, we will review science related to cold-water refuges (e.g., definitions, drivers) and key policies, laws, regulations (e.g., U.S. Endangered Species Act, U.S. Clean Water Act) and frameworks (e.g., European Union Water Framework Directive, European Union Habitats Directive) that guide their management. This assessment is an important step in synthesizing the current information and highlighting the research and policy gaps preventing implementation by stakeholders and policymakers. 


Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Principal Investigators
Valerie Ouellet, University of Birmingham
Joseph Ebersole, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Tracie Nadeau, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Aimee Fullerton, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Stephen Dugdale, University of Nottingham
Carole-Anne Gillis, Gespe'gewaq Mi'gmaq Resource Council
Daniel Dauwalter, Trout Unlimited
Christian Torgersen, USGS FRESC
Barret L. Kurylyk, University of Dalhousie
Philip Levin, The Nature Conservancy/University of Washington
Eric Quaempts, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Martin Briggs, USGS
Zachary Johnson, University of Washington
Knut Marius Myrvold, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
Hendrik Schoukens, Ghent University
Diego Tonolla, Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)
Andre St-Hilaire, INRS Eau Terre Environnement
Hervé Piegay, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Christa Kelleher, Syracuse University
Kathryn Smith, University of Dalhousie
Vincent Wawrzyniak, Energie Environnement - France

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