Project Name: Water Quality Monitoring in Scatter Creek Headwaters
Funding Source: HEF
Needs for Success: Operational funds – $5,000 yr and additional hobo loggers
Project Location: Cozy Valley Ongoing
This project has been an ongoing monitoring program since the summer of 2001. There are currently 8 temperature loggers that are placed throughout the Cozy Valley Creek to capture multiple water temperature readings throughout the day – everyday. With this information we can monitor the basic health of the upper tributaries for juvenile salmonids and native aquatic wildlife.
These readings will give us a base line of data to use for future temperature monitoring and analysis once our newly planted riparian areas start to grow and provide shade to these upper tributaries.
The Cozy Valley tributaries are more than ½ of the entire Scatter Creek headwaters. These systems flow downstream into the mainstem of Scatter Creek to start the journey out to the Chehalis River and finally into the Pacific Ocean. It is vital that any headwater system start with cool, clean, clear water to insure the health and vitality of the larger systems. With this simple monitoring process, HEF can insure that our systems are meeting the minimum standards necessary for the maximum life capacity for native salmonids and aquatic wildlife.
The data collected can be used by the Washington State Department of Ecology for further analysis and data gap measures to assist in the assessment of either the Scatter Creek watershed, and/or the lower Chehalis River, as well as, helping our education and outreach program for additional studies by local students and college interns to provide “hands on” real data analysis and research.
Watershed: Chehalis River Basin Sub-basin: Scatter Creek Tributary: Cozy Valley Creek
Habitat type: Off- Channel refuge, floodplain, wetland complexes
Acreage: 1+ miles of headwaters
Wildlife usages: water fowl, raptors, amphibians, salmonids, raccoons, deer, beaver, river otter
Issues Project Addresses:
- This project addresses critical issues in the Chehalis basin by providing much needed monitoring. With limited funding and resources, there is little to no self monitoring for completed projects. The lack of monitoring creates concern for assurances in project successfulness and quantification of restoration efforts in the basin. This basic monitoring effort allows HEF to provide measurements and accountability of ecosystem function, hydrologic connections, and temperature reduction as our projects age and mature over time.
The Limiting Factors within the project watershed area include temperature, fecal bacteria, sedimentation, and connectivity.
- Temperature – high temperatures depredate the natural habitat systems in numerous ways. With higher, warmer temperatures, dissolved oxygen volumes go down, algae/bacterial blooms go up, and the mortalities of a variety of species within the food chain go up, causing a linear breakdown of the functioning ecosystem. Monitoring and maintaining temperatures is the first basic step to insuring the health and quality of entire ecosystems and their ability to function.
- Connectivity – maintaining and monitoring hydrologic soils and their ability to function in ebb and flow capacity will help to determine and support the health of specific reaches within waterways. The viability and connectivity of ground water and surface play a vital role in the health of entire ecosystems.
Goals & Objectives:
- Goals: To use hobo loggers within the Cozy Valley Creek system to monitor lowering trends as projects begin to grow and mature over time
- Objectives: To provide quantifiable measurements of temperature changes in the valley system due to shading and restoration efforts over the years
- Summer 2001 – Begin with 8 loggers throughout Cozy Valley Creek
- Summer 2002 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
- Summer 2003 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
- Summer 2004 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
- Summer 2005 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
- Summer 2006 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
- Summer 2007 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
- Summer 2008 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
- Summer 2009 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
- Summer 2010 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
- Summer 2011 – continue monitoring Cozy Valley Creek with hobo loggers
Relationship to other projects:
This project is a smaller supportive project within the larger Chehalis Basin network of projects and an opportunity to show restoration success and provide assurances that there are projects working to improve the water quality throughout the entire basin.
This project will provide data and information about enhancements and protections of functioning hydroporic soils, hydrologic connections, headwater ecosystem, wetland complexes, and influences from newly planted riparian reaches of Scatter Creek. These specific headwaters support critical life stages of Coho, Steelhead, and Cutthroat salmonids.