Conservation Corner

Aug 28

[ARCHIVED] Get Involved with Stream Monitoring and Sampling!

The original item was published from May 30, 2017 1:21 PM to August 28, 2023 11:45 AM

The Stream Team program is closed and no longer accepting volunteers.

WQ Training photoStream Team Training 

Looking for an opportunity to engage in your local watershed? What to participate in citizen science? Or simply want to spend time outdoors? Volunteer stream monitoring might be for you!

Volunteer stream monitors play a key role in stream stewardship by raising awareness of pollution problems and providing water quality data the community can use to protect local streams. At this workshop you'll:


• Learn how to collect and record water quality data on streams. • Help Pierce Conservation District monitor one of many streams throughout Pierce County.

• Watch our streams for changes that threaten natural stream function.

• Make a difference in your environment and community. Our next stream monitor training is being held on Saturday, June 24, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Register Here.
 Macroinvertebrate Sampling 
Benthic macroinvertebrates (bottomdwelling organisms including aquatic insects, crayfish,Macros clams, snails, and worms) are another type of water quality measurement. While water quality sampling provides us with a “snapshot” view of the health of the stream; macroinvertebrates give us a longer view of stream health. The types and numbers of macroinvertebrates present are affected by periodic episodes of poor water quality or by ongoing poor water quality.

During the summer, we collect aquatic organisms from selected streams which are sent to a lab to be identified and counted. This is a fun opportunity to learn more about the health of our streams and get outside! For more info, contact Belinda at:

Students sampling for macroinvertebrates.

 Summer Monitoring Schedules

  •  Quarterly monitors may schedule their summer monitoring between June 21-September 14
  • Bimonthly monitors are scheduled to monitor their streams in July and September.
  • Remember that either August, September, or October is the time to complete a habitat assessment for your stream site. If you would like a refresher on filling out the habitat form, please contact Belinda to schedule a time to review the form at your site. 
  • Volunteers are also encouraged to run replicate tests once or twice a year. The replicate testing includes the dissolved oxygen, pH, and nitrate tests. We can provide extra sample bottles if you are planning on doing replicates. 
  • This year lake volunteers will complete the secchi dip-in form during their lake monitoring session. The Dip-In is not just limited to lakes. If stream monitors are interested in submitting their July transparency data to the contact Isabel Ragland at for more information.