Stream Shade Calculator

Note: We're sorry to announce that funding has ended for this project and the tool is no longer working. 

The Importance of Shade

Historically streams in Oregon had a protective canopy of trees that cooled their water making conditions ideal for juvenile salmon and other fish species. Over the years many streams have lost this protective canopy, and this has been one factor contributing to the decline of salmon stocks in the Pacific Northwest. One simple way to improve stream conditions for fish is to plant trees that restore water cooling shade.

A Calculator for Estimating Shade

You can get a good sense of the relative shadiness of your stream just by looking at it.  Quantifying this impression, however, requires a bit more work and some specialized equipment.  Our Stream Shade Calculator automates this work and provides you with a quick and reliable estimate of your stream's current shade condition and its potential for restoration.

Using the calculator is easy.  A Google Maps interface allows you to locate the stretch of stream you are interested in.  Using the digitizer tool, you can then highlight the exact stream reach you would like to get results for.  Then just press the calculate button to see the current shade conditions for your stream as well as what the potential shade conditions could be if you restored the riparian vegetation.  You can also print the results in the form of a simple summary report.

You can download the user guide and instructions for the calculator using the attachment link at the bottom of the page.







Shade Calculator User Guide and Instructions_August_2010.pdf389.74 KB