By Jim Sauter
Greetings from TCTU Streamkeepers.
“Autumn teaches us the beauty of letting go. Growth requires release- it is what the trees do.” Ka’ala, @alohakaala
We have just completed our third year of stream monitoring, and we expanded our WISEH2O chemical testing from three streams in 2021 to seven streams at eight sights near the metro area. There are 24 volunteers helping with this effort and several other streamkeepers that are randomly testing other streams.
One question that keeps recurring with members of our group and beyond is, “What is the value of stream monitoring?”
In the words of a friend and retired water biologist, Kent Johnson, “Streams cannot speak for themselves. We are the advocates and voice for streams.” This is true of our TCTU Streamkeepers and more broadly, TCTU, MNTU and the TU organizations. Our effort has enabled us to have more eyes and ears on our streams, helped us identify habitat issues, and we took snapshots of water chemistry especially after major rain events. In the coming months, we will be evaluating how we may be able to improve our streamkeeping efforts for the future.
Over the course of the summer, here are some interesting findings:
To get a better picture of what these numbers mean, go to the WISEH2O app our website.
Our first inaugural Streamkeeper Clean-up day was held at the South Branch of the Vermillion on October 28 and was a tremendous success. Thanks to Doug Moran and the volunteers that helped with this effort. We hope to expand on clean up days on other streams. Please keep posted about these projects on the TCTU event page.
Our “targeted” Streamkeepers are monitoring Belle Creek, Eagle Creek, Hay Creek, Little Cannon, Mall of America Creek, South Branch Vermillion, and Trout Brook. Below are some recent chemical readings on these streams.
Mall of America Creek
“General” Streamkeepers are busy conducting more random and spontaneous monitoring of streams in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
General Streamkeepers - Minnesota
South Fork Zumbro River
Spring Valley Creek
Trout Brook by Mazeppa
West Indian Creek
Maple Day Creek
General Streamkeepers - Iowa
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