Kathryn L Boyer
Kathryn L Boyer

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wood in rivers
Kathryn L Boyer
Fish Ecologist

My research has focused on (1) the effects of agricultural and forestry land-use practices on stream and riparian habitats critical to native fish species, and (2) the development of land management practices that minimize degradation of stream and riparian functions important to aquatic species.  

Fisheries and Wildlife
Nash Hall
Room 104 Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97333
United States


About your research program/projects: Although I am now retired from federal service, I continue to participate in the Department and provide students expertise and mentoring in the conservation and management of aquatic species living in agricultural landscapes, and arid lands of the American Southwest. In addition, I collaborate with river scientists in western Europe, Mexico, Japan, and Oregon on restoration applications and strategies focusing on the management of wood in world rivers. 


I was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1950. I went to college at the University of Arizona in Tucson where I studied Marine Ecology and Ichthyology and worked in the UA Fish Museum under the supervision of Donald A. Thomson and Lloyd T. Findley. I received a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1972. My first job out of college was in the Department of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, where I was a curatorial assistant under the direction of William Eschmeyer. I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where I worked for Dr. Basil Ho Yuen in the Faculty of Medicine. In 1977 I travelled from Vancouver to the southern tip of Peru over a 3 month period before returning to the US. I then worked as a Water Quality Specialist in Boise, Idaho until 1980 when I decided to attend Graduate School at Oregon State University. I received a Master of Science from the OSU Department of Zoology under the direction of Dr. Richard Ewing. After grad school, I worked for Dr. W. Linn Montgomery at Northern Arizona University as a Research Assistant, and then took a few years off to have two children. I went back to work in 1980, joining the US Forest Service as a Fish Biologist on the Cle Elum Ranger District of the Wenatchee National Forest. After a couple of years I was promoted to Forest Fish Biologist on the White Mountain National Forest in Laconia, NH where I worked for 3 years. In 1983 I accepted a position with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wildlife Habitat Management Institute, in cooperation with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at OSU. I was very pleased to move back to Corvallis and join the faculty at the Department. With funding from USDA, I supported graduate student research in cooperation with other departmental scientists including Stan Gregory, Guillermo Giannico, J. Boone Kauffman, and others.


Boyer-Staley, Kathryn. 1983. Purine Deposition in the Skin of Juvenile Coho Salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch. Master’s Thesis, Oregon State University. 74 pages.         

Montgomery, W.L., G.E. Goslow, Jr., K.B. Staley and J.R. Mills.  1987. Alternative mating behaviors of male Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), with special reference to mature male parr.  Pp. 232-238 in:Evolutionary and Community Ecology of North American Stream Fishes, W. Matthews and D. Heins, eds. University of Oklahoma Press.

Staley, K Boyer and R. D. Ewing. 1992. Purine levels in the skin of juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) during parr-smolt transformation and adaptation to seawater. Comparative Biochemistry and Physilogy B 101(3): Pages 447-52.

Gregory, S., K. Boyer, and A. Gurnell.2003. The Ecology and Management of Wood in World Rivers. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. 431 pages.

Boyer, K., D. R. Berg, and S. Gregory. 2004. Riparian management for wood in rivers. Pages 407-  420 in S. Gregory, K. Boyer and A. Gurnell. The Ecology and Management of Wood in World Rivers. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD

Giannico, G.R, J.L. Li, K. L. Boyer, R.W. Colvin, W.J. Gerth. 2005. Fish and amphibian use of intermittent Agricultural Waterways in the South Willamette Valley. IN Seed Production Research at Oregon State University, W. C. Young III, ed.. USDA-ARS Seed Laboratory.

Gregory, S., A. Allen, M. Baker, K. Boyer, T. Dillaha, J. Elliott. 2006. Realistic expectations of timing between Conservation and Restoration Actions and Ecological Responses. IN. M. Schnepf and E. Cox (editors): Environmental Benefits of Conservation on Cropland: The Status of our Knowledge.

Boyer, K.L. and F. D. Shields.2007. Ecological Considerations for Stream Projects. Chapter 1 in Stream Restoration Design, National Engineering Handbook Part 654, USDA-NRCS Washington, DC.

Knight, S. S., and K. L. Boyer 2007. Effects of Conservation Practices on Aquatic Habitats and Fauna. IN: Fish and Wildlife Response to Farm Bill Conservation Practices. The Wildlife Society Technical Review 07-1: 85-103.

Gumiero, B., K. Boyer, and S. Gregory. 2009. Introduction: Biodiversity and restoration of hydromorpological processes. IN: IVth ECRR International Conference on River Restoration 2008, Italy. B. Gumiero, M. Rinaldi, and B. Fokkens, editors.

Colvin, R., G. Giannico, J. Li., and K. Boyer. 2009. Fish use of intermittent drainages of agricultural lands in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. 2009, Trans Am. Fish. Soc. 138:1302-1313.

A. Chin, A., L. R. Laurencio, M. D. Daniels, E. Woho, M. A. Urban, K.L. Boyer, A. Butt, H. Piegay, and K. Gregory. 2014. The significance of perceptions and feedbacks for effectively managing wood in rivers. River Research and Applications 30:98-111. 

Outreach and Extension

Flooded Fields and Drainage Ditches of the Willamette Valley: Habitat legacies for native fish and wildlife. DVD produced by Freshwaters Illustrated in collaboration with OSU and Oregon Sea Grant.

Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon Field Guide: Ditch Fish;                 http://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/segment/ditch-fish/

Fun Fact

I caught my first native fish by hand in an irrigation ditch in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 7.