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home : education : schools September 23, 2017

8/1/2017 5:28:00 PM
Volunteers sought for stream monitoring
Volunteers count macroinvertebrates on Whychus Creek. photo by Marisa Hossick
+ click to enlarge
Volunteers count macroinvertebrates on Whychus Creek. photo by Marisa Hossick

Upper Deschutes Watershed Council is hosting their ninth stream sampling on Whychus Creek on Saturday, August 12 - and folks in Sisters are encouraged to participate.

"We're actively recruiting volunteers for the event," said Lauren Mork, stream monitoring coordinator for the Council.

Volunteers will meet at Creekside Park in Sisters at 8:30 a.m. (coffee and snacks are provided).

"We do a brief introduction to UDWC and the stream restoration and steelhead and salmon reintroduction that are happening on Whychus Creek, followed by a sampling protocol training with aquatic entomologist Celeste Mazzacano," Mork said.

In teams of three or four, volunteers sample one or two sites along Whychus Creek. Sampling includes wading in the creek, using heels and hands to dislodge aquatic macroinvertebrates from the bottom of the stream, and transferring them from the net to sample bottles.

Samples are accompanied by a stream habitat description and stream measurements. Sampling teams typically wrap up by 3 p.m. and return their samples to Creekside Park.

Samples are sent to a lab for identification. The resulting data allow us to understand how stream conditions are changing with restoration actions and a changing climate.

Stream sampling reveals new insights about the health of Whychus Creek from each year's data, according to Mork.

"New kinds (taxa) of macroinvertebrates found in Whychus in 2016, and higher numbers of sensitive taxa and taxa associated with flowing water, suggest improved biological conditions and a healthier aquatic community since 2009," Mork told The Nugget. "This change suggests a biological response to stream flow restoration that increased late-summer flow in Whychus Creek from 2005 to 2009. However, data from 2016 also provide support for an emerging warming trend in Whychus Creek that may signal a response to a changing climate, with 2014-2016 the three warmest years on record."

In 2017 the event will add three sites at the Whychus Canyon restoration project, where the stream was diverted into new channels across the historic


"Sites up and down Whychus Creek will help us understand what conditions in the creek are like for macroinvertebrates - and other aquatic life, not least redband trout - this year, at multiple stream restoration projects, and after our long snowy winter, and how those conditions compare to earlier years," Mork explained.

For more information, contact Mork at 541-382-6103 x39 or

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