Level 1 Volunteer Stream Monitoring

Citizens’ groups from throughout Wisconsin are using Water Action Volunteers' sampling protocols to monitor the health oftheir hometown streams and rivers. Entry level volunteers monitor dissolved oxygen, temperature, transparency, streamflow, habitat, and macroinvertebrates between May and October. There are several program goals:

  1. that Wisconsin citizens will monitor stream and river health.
  2. to support data sharing for educational purposes.
  3. to provide a network for volunteer groups, individuals, and schools to interact.
  4. to provide support for civic conservation and environmental groups.
  5. to help increase linkages between volunteer monitoring efforts and public resources protection programs.
What parameters are monitored?

Six parameters are included as part of the introductory monitoring program.  Between May and October, temperature, dissolved oxygen, streamflow and transparency are monitored monthly by most WAV citizen monitors.  Volunteer monitors also assess the aquatic and streamside habitat as well as the stream's macroinvertebrate community, using a biotic index as well as keeping an eye out for several key aquatic invasive species. Habitat assessments are completed once a year, in the summer, while the biotic index is assessed twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. Level 2 and 3 monitors assess such parameters as total phosphorus, chloride, specific conductance, and E. coli bacteria.
What happens to data that are collected?

Water quality data collected by WAV volunteers are entered to a web-based database. Anyone with access to the web can view data or reports that are generated through the database or by WAV staff.





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