MesoHABSIM

The Mesohabitat Simulation Model (MesoHABSIM) is an effective approach to modeling instream habitats at the river and site specific scale. It uses a computer model, Sim-Stream, that predicts the quantity of habitat for aquatic communities in rivers and streams for watershed management scenarios. It is used in water management for instream flow assessments as well as in river conservation and restoration planning.  MesoHABSIM integrates system-scale assessment of ecological integrity in flowing waters with quantitative information on physical habitat distribution to simulate habitat changes at the watershed scale. This ecologically sound model implements the Natural Flow Paradigm by developing seasonal and dynamic flow augmentation strategies. It also provides quantifiable metrics for evaluating future scenarios, (including  global warming) and determination of habitat offsets that compensate for flow limitations and other human induced alterations. It is an essential tool of cost effective and scientifically defensible watershed management practice.

Although recently developed MesoHABSIM, experiences growing popularity in river restoration and management planning.  It is currently used in fish and mussel habitat studies across US and in Europe. Among others, the model has been applied for determination of Protected Instream Flow Standards in the State of New Hampshire where it has been adopted as a part of State’s legal framework.

Meixler. 2000. Defining a Target Fish Community for Planning and Evaluating Enhancement on the Quinebaug River in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Report for Quinebaug River Study Agencies. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY .

Capra, H., B. Pascal, and Y. Souchon. 1995. A new tool to interpret magnitude and duration of fish habitat variations. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management. 10: 281-289.