Category Archives: Monitoring

Greenway Network monitors every place a road crosses Dardenne Creek

photos by Bob Virag, Stream Team volunteer
words by Larry Ruff, Greenway Network 

Dardenne Creek is 27 miles long.  It originates in Warren County, flows northwest through St. Charles County and empties into the Mississippi River directly north of St. Peters.  It is a pretty creek in its headwaters–Ozarkian in nature.

ST 463 Dardenne Day 10-12-14-A little rain doesn't stop us!
Monica Hull, Larry Ruff, and Matt Hull kick around looking for macroinvertebrates on October 12, 2014. A little rain doesn’t stop us!

In the ’20s and ’30s, farmers channelized the creek in the flatter regions of the county. Those farms have become hundreds of subdivision neighborhoods. It crosses I-70 at St. Peters and runs through he Mississippi River floodplain. Every where a road crosses the creek, Greenway Network tries to monitor that site.

Lindenwood Univ student volunteers
Lindenwood University students enjoying lunch provided by Greenway Network after the stream monitoring.
Gail Johnston ST 2819 & Larry Ruff ST 463
Gail Johnston is a Biology instructor at Lindenwood University (ST 2819) in St. Charles and always brings students to Dardenne Day.

We’ve been doing Dardenne Day for at least 14 years. Monitoring takes place in the Spring and the Fall. This year, Dardenne Day was part of 25 Days of Stream Team.

In the Spring: 19 sites on the creek were monitored by 29 volunteers, 9 different Stream Teams.

In the Fall: 16 sites monitored by 10 volunteers, 5 Stream Teams.

Curious about how all these site visits turned out? Download results here and see for yourself! Macro ratings ranged from 0 to 25, pH hovered around 8.2, and they even logged e. coli numbers. Very interesting.

If you want to get involved with Dardenne Day or any of the other great events put on all year by Greenway Network, visit their website.

Snail Case Maker Caddisfly (Helicopsychidae)
Snail Case Maker Caddisfly (Helicopsychidae)

 

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A VWQM Journey on Bryant Creek

photo by Flickr user jeff yielding

This article is a mashup of two pieces first published on Stream Team volunteer George Sims’ blog, The Bugs of Popo Agie His group has worked hard to protect Bryant Creek, including a mile-by-mile water quality assessment report. Big thanks to George for sharing his story!

April 2, 2013 – “Down the Creek Without a Paddle”

John and Sue and I put our kayaks and canoe in at the “Monastery Bridge” in Douglas County, only a mile or so from Assumption Abbey, a Trappist monastery, and paddled over ten miles downstream to the Highway 95 bridge, just below the Ozark County line.

In addition to enjoying a great day of sun, fun, and good companionship, we were conducting chemical monitoring of the stream at one-mile intervals as part of the State of Missouri’s Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring (VWQM) program.  This endeavour provides free training to individuals, enabling them, in the Introductory training, to learn to identify “aquatic macroinvertebrates” (bug larva) as indicators of water quality.

John is a Level 3 monitor, so he provided the “adult supervision” for Sue and me.  Our Master Naturalist chapter, based in West Plains, developed an ambitious project in 2010, whereby we would monitor every mile of the 42+ mile, floatable portion of Bryant Creek, from the Vera Cruz MDC (Missouri Conservation Department) access, down to the confluence of Bryant with the North Fork of the White River at Tecumseh.

bryantcreek

We divided the stream into four sections, with a team leader responsible for each segment.  As my segment was substantially longer than the others, John and Sue graciously lent their help in covering almost 2/3 of the nearly 18-mile stretch.

Early on, we passed a crystalline spring, which issued from a cave on the left hillside, tumbling over mossy rocks down to the creek.

The temperatures rose to nearly 80 during the day, and I only managed to sink my kayak TWICE, an improvement of 33% over last year’s outing, although I DID manage to lose my paddle in the process.  Fortunately, John had brought an extra, so I was not left to live in the wilderness, eating lichens, and slowly starving and turning feral.
 
We sampled twelve sites, and managed to reach the take-out point just as darkness descended.  All the data was organized, and submitted electronically to the Missouri Stream Team program, a truly wonderful undertaking, which involves over 4,000 volunteer “stream teams” which clean, monitor, and enjoy Missouri’s beautiful waterways.
 
A truly great way to spend a day, with good friends, a beautiful stream, and a worthwhile reason to be there.
 
With apologies to Anne Murray:
 
Can you imagine a piece of the universe more fit for princes and kings?
I’ll trade you ten of your cities for my Bryant Creek, and the pleasures it brings.
 
Out on the Bryant, on soft summer nights,
Bonfires blaze, to the children’s delight.
They dance ’round the flames, singing songs with their friends,
I wish I was with them again.
 

Bryant Creek is part of the North Fork of the White River Watershed, and is a lovely place to fish, swim, or float.  All water quality data is submitted to the State of Missouri’s Stream Team program, and is also compiled into an ongoing report, complete with data, graphs, bells and whistles.The complete text of the report, through 2012, is given in pdf form at the link below. 

BCAP Ongoing Report

Monitor Dardenne Creek with Greenway Network on May 4

Activities: Help monitor water quality on Dardenne Creek with Greenway Network for the annual Dardenne Creek Monitoring Day
greenwaynetworkDate: Sunday, May 5, 2014
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Place: 20+ sites along Dardenne Creek, with a celebratory end at Greenway Network’s office at 215 Indacom Drive, St. Peters

What to expect: Arrange sampling locations with Greenway Network ahead of time. Stream Team volunteers will collect water chemistry data, macroinvertebra​te data, and stream discharge measurements throughout the day. If you’re a newbie, Greenway will connect you with trained volunteers.

Bring the data back to Greenway Network’s office at 215 Indacom Drive, St. Peters, MO by 1:00 p.m.  A tasty lunch of Subway sandwiches and drinks will be provided to all participants!

What to bring: Always dress appropriately for the weather and please bring gloves that you do not mind getting dirty. Volunteers need to bring their monitoring equipment (unless you’re paired with a trained volunteer).

For more information: Contact Larry Ruff at greenwaynetwork​@gmail.com or call (636) 498-0772 to register and arrange site locations.

Directions:


For more information, visit www.greenwaynet​work.org.

 —
25th-ST_Logo-Color-FinalThis volunteer water quality monitoring event  is part of “25 Days of Stream Team” and counts as a stamp on your stream team passport if you submit an activity report. Learn more about all 25+ events and the passport program