Watershed is an important existing form of water, with various functions such as water supply, irrigation, fishery, tourism, and flood prevention, playing a major role in the daily production and lives of residents and regional social and economic development. As a brand new management objective, watershed development is a significant means for supporting and ensuring the sustainability of social, economic and environmental development. This paper elaborates the importance of preserving the ecological and hydrological connections of river systems to sustain their healthy life cycle, as a harmonious relationship is essential for the current and future watershed management. By emphasizing the importance of the watershed ecological and environmental management and restoration, on the basis of the existing research results, this paper sums up the basic concepts and connotation of the ecological operation of reservoirs, analyzing the research achievements and existing problems of ecological operation study, and resulting in a fundamental framework of ecological operation model based on the multiscale coupling mechanism, objective coordination mechanism, generative mechanism of characteristic flows and operation scheme of the rolling correction mechanism.

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