Fishing Terminology

Fishing Term

Definition/Description

Turbidity

Turbidity is the measure of relative clarity of water.  Material that causes water to be turbid include clay, silt, finely divided inorganic and organic matter, algae, soluble colored organic compounds, and plankton and other microscopic organisms.  Depending on the geomorphology of the river and intensity of precipation events, turbidity will be affected.  Knowledgeable fishermen will pay close attention to water turbidity and plan trips, baits, tactics and locations based on how clear or dirty water conditions are.

Turbidity is measured by shining a light through water and is reported in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). During periods of low flow (base flow), many rivers are a clear green color, and turbidities are low, usually less than 10 NTU. During a rainstorm, particles from the surrounding land are washed into the river making the water a muddy brown color, indicating water that has higher turbidity values. Also, during high flows, water velocities are faster and water volumes are higher, which can more easily stir up and suspend material from the stream bed, causing higher turbidities.

Ref: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/turbidity.html

Water Temperature

Temperature exerts a major influence on biological activity and growth. Temperature governs the kinds of organisms that can live in rivers and lakes. Fish, insects, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and other aquatic species all have a preferred temperature range. As temperatures get too far above or below this preferred range, the number of individuals of the species decreases until finally there are none.
Ref: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/temperature.html

Discharge (Streamflow)

In its simplest concept discharge means outflow; therefore, the use of this term is not restricted as to course or location, and it can be applied to describe the flow of water from a pipe or from a drainage basin. If the discharge occurs in some course or channel, it is correct to speak of the discharge of a canal or of a river. It is also correct to speak of the discharge of a canal or stream into a lake, a stream, or an ocean.

The discharge that occurs in a natural channel. Although the term discharge can be applied to the flow of a canal, the word streamflow uniquely describes the discharge in a surface stream course. The term "streamflow" is more general than runoff, as streamflow may be applied to discharge whether or not it is affected by diversion or regulation.
Ref: http://water.usgs.gov/wsc/glossary.html#D

Water Level (Stage)

In its simplest concept discharge means outflow; therefore, the use of this term is not restricted as to course or location, and it can be applied to describe the flow of water from a pipe or from a drainage basin. If the discharge occurs in some course or channel, it is correct to speak of the discharge of a canal or of a river. It is also correct to speak of the discharge of a canal or stream into a lake, a stream, or an ocean.

The discharge that occurs in a natural channel. Although the term discharge can be applied to the flow of a canal, the word streamflow uniquely describes the discharge in a surface stream course. The term "streamflow" is more general than runoff, as streamflow may be applied to discharge whether or not it is affected by diversion or regulation.
Ref: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-measure-streamstage.html

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