Newly published reports:
The Long-Term Index Site Project (LISP) assesses current conditions and long-term stream health trends at ten stations in Clark County.
Many Clark County streams have been impacted by human activities and stormwater runoff. These streams exhibit water quality degradation, hydrologic modifications, and habitat alterations, but little historical data exist to systematically document current conditions or trends in stream condition. The LISP was initiated in August 2001 to fill this information gap.
A suite of stream health indicators is monitored at each station: physical habitat, biological condition based on benthic macroinvertebrates, fecal coliform bacteria, physical and chemical water quality, and stream flow.
Characteristics and protocols are selected to produce data comparable to those collected by other agencies. At least five years of continuous flow data are needed to start to to characterize hydrologic conditions and often about ten years to discern stream health trends.
In the meantime, LISP data help assess current stream conditions. It has been used by a variety of agencies for projects including the county's Stream Health Report and the Washington Department of Ecology's 303(d) list of impaired water bodies.
Project Contact: Bob Hutton
Enlarge map of LISP Stations (PDF - 542K)
The Salmon Creek Monitoring Project provides basic water quality data from eight stations in the Salmon Creek watershed to Clark Public Utilities, Clark County, and the Washington Department of Ecology. Three of these stations are also LISP stations. Monthly samples are analyzed for a set of physical and chemical water quality characteristics.
Clark Public Utilities began monitoring water quality in the Salmon Creek watershed in 1995. In 2002, Clark County Water Resources and Clark Public Utilities agreed to consolidate ongoing monitoring in Salmon Creek, standardize monitoring methods, and eliminate overlapping activities.
As a result, Water Resources assumed responsibility for collecting water quality data and Clark Public Utilities, in return, provides contracted maintenance and operation for Clark Countyís two stream flow gauges and three continuous rainfall gauges in the Salmon Creek watershed.
Project Contact: Bob Huttonl
Enlarge map of Salmon Creek Monitoring Sites (JPG - 95K)
Continuous stream temperature loggers are placed in streams to measure temperatures over extended periods of time. Usually, loggers are set out from late spring to early fall, when warmer temperatures can cause streams to exceed state standards for aquatic life. Most of the county's stream flow gauges also have built-in temperature sensors that operate year-round.
Water temperature information is inexpensive to collect and is helpful for identifying streams where increased shade or enhanced summer stream flows may help keep temperatures lower.
Every year, Water Resources staff also coordinate placement of stream temperature loggers in various watersheds. Data from this effort help define areas where water temperatures are too high for fish and other aquatic life. Other past projects have evaluated potential temperature impacts from spacific stream reaches, stormwater facilities, and special projects.
Project Contact: Ian Wigger
Focus: Stream Temperature in the Salmon Creek Watershed (PDF - 138K) This three-page focus sheet summarizes the findings of the Salmon Creek Watershed 2003 Stream Temperature Report (above).
Water Resources compiled, analyzed, and summarized reliable data from the county, Clark Public Utilities, and the Washington Department of Ecology for streams, rivers, and lakes in Clark County.
The Stream Health Report provides observed stream health ratings using available data for physical and chemical characteristics, fecal coliform bacteria, and benthic macroinvertebrates.
Where there isnít reliable stream data, the report provides an estimate of the streamís probable health based on the proportions of forest and urbanization in the streamís drainage area. This is the first effort to define aquatic health for every major stream and lake in Clark County.
Project Contact: Rod Swanson
Between 2002 and 2005, Clark County and the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, in cooperation with Washington Department of Ecology, conducted an assessment of the East Fork Lewis River, Lower Lewis River, Washougal River, and Salmon Creek. The project furthered salmon recovery efforts by providing stream-specific data describing the current state of aquatic and riparian habitat and identifying restoration projects.
2004 Watershed Characterization Grant Reports - Chapters 1-5
During 2004, Water Resources conducted a coordinated effort to collect temperature and macroinvertebrate data at many of the stream reaches inventoried by the Lower Columbian River Fish Recovery Board habitat surveys.
Adding water quality and biological information to the habitat survey data provides a more complete description of stream habitat for salmon and other stream-dwelling organisms. It also identifies areas where habitat restoration projects may more readily improve aquatic habitat. Additionally, the temperature and biological data provide a baseline description of stream conditions in rural and developing areas where stormwater runoff may influence stream health.
Project Contact: Rod Swanson