Ecological models inform many aspects of river management decisions, such as
environmental flow analysis or river restoration design; yet we know little about how
model resolution and complexity could ultimately affect management recommendations.
Using a site on the Middle Oconee River in Athens, Georgia, we evaluate the effects of
varying input data resolution (quantity of field data), sampling design (random vs.
stratified cross-sections), and model complexity (1-dimensional vs. 2-dimensional
models) on environmental flow recommendations made with a generalized fish habitat
model. Results highlight the importance of modeling choices in interpretation and
communication of management recommendations.