Water Monitoring on Springer Creek
On Wednesday August 15th, 2019, Slocan River Streamkeepers’ Shanoon Bennett and Dominique Monnier hosted a community event to collect water quality data on Springer Creek, in Slocan B.C, using the Hach Test Kit granted by the Columbia Basin Watershed Network Society. A total of seven youths, and eight adults participated in the event and learned about why it is important to monitor water quality on local streams and how to do it.
Springer Creek flows into Slocan Lake and is important habitat for trout who depend on cold water for spawning and rearing, and for invertebrates- the bugs that feed the fish. Volunteers measured water temperature at 13.4 C, dissolved oxygen at 10 mg/L, and pH at 7.3. Results show that Springer Creek is currently well within optimal limits for fish and invertebrates. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that water temperature in Springer Creek was 6.3 C cooler than the Slocan River which was measured at 19.7 C on the same day. This is important because temperatures above 20 C can be lethal to juvenile trout meaning that they depend on cold streams like Springer Creek for refuge during the hot months of summer.
A big thank you goes out to CBWN and CBT for the Hach kit and to all those that attended and made this event such a great success.
Slocan Valley Water Monitoring 2019
Funded by Columbia Basin Trust and Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative, Slocan River Streamkeepers are conducting field studies to assess water quality and temperature at specific sites along Slocan River to identify long-term trends or changes to ecological processes due to human-caused factors — such as the jet fuel spill in Lemon Creek and the landslide on Little Slocan River; the monitoring of water levels of select community water sources during low flows; recording and analyzing the physical, chemical, and biological factors present at strategic and historic sites throughout the watershed.
This addresses four main issues: Rising water temperatures and their effect on aquatic ecosystems, specifically Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout. Effects of sedimentation caused by stream bank erosion on water quality and aquatic species downstream of the landslide on Little Slocan. Effects of climate change on community waters sources. The recovery of aquatic life in Lemon Creek.
Water-quality sampling sites are located at strategic and historic sites on the Slocan River and tributaries at Passmore/South Slocan, and on Little Slocan River. Water-flow monitoring is on four creeks between Vallican and Appledale: McFayden Creek, Rice Creek, Trozzo Creek, and Ravine Creek. The work in Winlaw Creek will involve an education outreach program with the Whole School and Winlaw Elementary School. Both the monitoring of benthic invertebrates and the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network protocol take place at the same site previously sampled on Lemon Creek.
Previously in the Slocan Valley, citizen water monitoring had been instigated and carried out in connection with the forestry concerns of the Slocan Valley Watershed Alliance. In 2006, Valley residents were invited by Environment Canada to participate in a program initiated by that federal agency. It’s called the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN).
CABIN’s focus is on aquatic insects. While CABIN becoming established in the Kootenays was the starting point for Streamkeepers’ water monitoring, the programs under our banner have since expanded to encompass water-chemistry, temperature and microbiological monitoring, as well. In addition, we are working with local scientists to develop a biomonitoring assessment tool for West Kootenay Wetlands.
For most of our history, our focus has been on the main Slocan River. Since the spill of aviation fuel in Lemon Creek in 2013, we’ve had a creek-monitoring project in that stream. We also have an ongoing water monitoring project in Springer Creek. Among our current interests are the changes due to warmer water temperatures, suggesting the need to include the bacteria testing that we now do.
Contact: Jennifer Yeow. Ph: 250-226-7339