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A Newsletter from StreamNet
A Fish Data Delivery Project for the Pacific Northwest
Issue #10 - May 19, 2009
Go to:   Previous newsletter.     Next newsletter.

Welcome to the tenth StreamNet News!

Table of Contents

  1. StreamNet web site updated
  2. StreamNet adopts new "mixed scale" hydrography
  3. Downloadable database updated
  4. Data Sharing White Paper Released
  5. New Data Sets Available in the Data Store


As of March 6, 2009 our web site has a new look. Beyond the change in the look and feel, we added features which we hope will aid in usability of the web site.

  • The organization of the web site was improved, and we made it easier to find information of interest with fewer steps.
  • The search function now searches our web pages, documents available for download from the StreamNet Library, and the Data Store. (Not yet included, but which we are looking into, is the ability to use a Google-like, text-based search function to find data in our main database.)
  • The online data query system was improved so that scrolling horizontally to view all the columns in a record is no longer necessary. Long entries that used to result in very tall rows that were difficult to read are now truncated, with a link to view the full entry. Other usability improvements were also made.
  • Outdated information was removed. In case you can't find something you're looking for, we include a link back to the old site. If there is something of interest to you on the old site that we did not include, please let us know.

Please let us know how you like the new look, and any additional features you think would improve our delivery of fisheries data.


On May 1, 2009 we instituted a "mixed scale hydrography" as the basis for georeferencing data. This updates the 1:100,000 scale hydrography by adding 1:24,000 scale streams and other streams where we have data. This is an interim step in preparation for eventual conversion to a system compatible with the high resolution National Hydrography Dataset.

We use the hydrography by tying individual fish data records to locations on streams in our GIS. Until now data were tied to the 1:100,000 scale PNW River Reach Files. The change to the mixed-scale hydrography allows us to keep current with the systems in use by our data contributing partners.

What does this mean for you?

  • More streams means more data. Within the state of Washington we now have data for many streams not available in the older system. Some streams have been added or edited in the states of Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and selected streams have been extended into Canada. As a result, additional data are now accessible via our online data query system. The largest change is that we now have fish distribution data for over 5,500 additional streams.
  • Greater precision and compatibility. Because the new hydrography shows greater detail, river mile measures have been updated and provide greater precision. In addition, the new hydrography has been reconciled and integrated with California's "CalHydro" dataset, so we are better able to share fish data with our colleagues in California and our sister project, CalFish.

All of our downloadable spatial datasets, and the online mapper, will be re-published in the near future to reflect the change in our base hydrography. A planned update later this year will incorporate higher resolution hydrography within the state of Oregon.

StreamNet's goal is to make as much standardized fish data available to our users as possible. We edit and maintain a routed hydrography to georeference our data and to remain compatible with the systems used by our data contributing partners. While we are not suggesting that others use our new mixed scale hydrography for referencing their data, the best available version is available for download along with its related metadata. In addition, an archive of the 1:100,000 scale PNW River Reach Files will remain available. Both of these can be found on our Maps & GIS Data page.


An updated MS Access version of the StreamNet database can now be downloaded. The database has been updated to include new count data and is georeferenced to the new Mixed Scale Hydrography. It also now includes ten example queries to demonstrate how to dereference coded information with lookup tables, although you will likely want to tweak the examples to fit your own needs. Some static data sets have been removed, but those remain available in the Data Store or elsewhere on the StreamNet website. Note that the Access database does not have a user interface or the dynamic features that are part of the StreamNet online data query and interactive mappers. It is primarily intended for use by "power" users engaged in regional scale analyses. Use of this database requires significant experience using Access, and most users will find the online systems more suited to their needs. You can find this updated database, as well as previous versions, on our database download page.


Given the growing interest in sharing monitoring data among agencies, StreamNet has released Considerations for Regional Data Collection, Sharing and Exchange. This draft white paper provides a checklist of steps that facilitate the flow of data from creation in the field, through the agency or project doing the monitoring, to a regional scale data sharing application. It outlines the general steps needed to make data available on a regional or basin-wide scale, and describes the roles that various entities play in making the data available.

The guide is intended to focus discussions about sharing data so that none of the requisite steps are overlooked, and should be helpful when developing agency or regional scale data systems. The guide is not prescriptive, and recognizes that there are often several ways to address many of the steps. It is generally applicable to any type of monitoring data or any agency. As a basic primer to data management, it recognizes that many agencies are already adept at a number of the steps.

A key recognition is that the steps outlined in the guide will be required for any type of regional data sharing application. Therefore, efforts to address the steps can begin right away, before a final decision is made on which technological approach to take on developing a regional or basin-wide data dissemination application.

Feedback and recommendations on the draft data sharing guide are welcome.


Five data sets were added to the StreamNet Data Store since our last newsletter.

  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's 1999-2008 Annual Data for the Project "Resident Fish Stock Status Above Chief Joseph Dam."
  • Nez Perce Soil & Water Conservation District's 2008 Stream Temperature Data.
  • Independent Hatchery Operations Team (IHOT) hatchery evaluation summary reports from 1998.
  • Yellowstone cutthroat trout 2008 assessment review data. (Contains data updated at geographic mananagement unit (GMU) meetings held in 2008.)
  • Yellowstone cutthroat trout 2006 status assessment. (Contains May et al. 2006 report, supporting data, and GIS files.)

The end.

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COMMENTS on the StreamNet project, its web site, its data products, or your data needs are encouraged and appreciated. Click the "Contact StreamNet" button on any page of the StreamNet web site.

StreamNet is a cooperative, multi-agency effort among the Columbia River Basin's state, tribal, and federal fisheries agencies, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC), the Bonneville Power Administration, and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to compile fish-related data. We compile and make available on our web site information intended to be useful to fisheries managers and researchers, land managers, planners, and others. We acquire, regionally standardize, and georeference data from multiple sources on a number of topics, including fish distribution, fish abundance trends, hatchery returns, harvest levels, migration barriers, hatcheries, and dams. We provide a catalog of photographs relevant to fish species and facilities in the region. Through our "Data Publishing Service" and "Data Store" we archive and provide access to stand-alone data sets created by other entities, as well as the Pacific Northwest's 1:100,000 scale GIS streams layer. We maintain the official list of stream reaches the NPCC has recommended be protected from dam construction. We provide pre-made maps and let you make maps interactively from data in the StreamNet database to meet your needs. We continually work to update these resources, so new information becomes available several times each year. We also provide customized data-related services for participants in the NPCC's Fish and Wildlife Program.

You can learn more about StreamNet at We exist in order to bring useful information to people such as you, and we welcome your questions, feedback, and suggestions. We also hope you will inform your colleagues about the resources available at StreamNet (


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