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Aquatic Wildlife Habitats

Aquatic habitats can be found in lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, nearshore marine and intertidal zones. Below is a description of these various aquatic habitats.

Lakes and Ponds

These are lakes, ponds and other natural water bodies. Most reservoirs also are included in this habitat and land cover type, as they represent man-made versions of lakes and ponds, which are difficult to distinguish with imagery. Eventually, when the lakes and reservoir coverage for the state is completed, reservoirs might be separated from natural water bodies.

Rivers and Streams

These are the open water portions of the stream or river network. Most rivers and streams are mapped as linear features, so these generally apply only to the larger rivers in which both banks can be mapped, or smaller rivers and streams can be created with a arbitrary buffer of the mapped stream.


Courtesy ODFW

Nearshore Marine and Intertidal

This type includes underwater reefs, kelp beds and other coastal nearshore marine habitats, as well as intertidal (underwater daily) habitats such as marine gardens and tidepools. Marine mammals and birds are generally the only wildlife occupants of these habitats in Oregon.

Estuarine, Salt Marshes and Bays

These include coastal water bodies at the mouths of rivers, bays, and the marshes associated with them. There are six ecological systems associated with this habitat type:

Authored by Jimmy Kagan, INR Information Program Manager (2008)