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ISA water quality monitoring program moves ahead


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Illinois Smallmouth Alliance Sentinel Angler Monitoring Program

 

For the past year, the ISA has been working on a citizen monitoring program designed to provide information about the status of Illinois streams through member monitoring efforts. Over months of discussion and refinement, the general outline of that plan has been sharpened and refined to the point that it is ready to begin. Thanks to the generosity of ISA members and donors, that program will be launched during 2008.

 

Part of that plan will include providing a compact (about the size of a digital camera), easy-to-carry kit for collecting water samples at sites where we notice water quality problems. Another part of the program will provide temperature/dissolved oxygen monitors (about the size of a tackle pack) to a limited number of members willing to make a specific commitment to use them regularly.

 

Who should participate:

 

During this the inaugural year of the project, a limited number dissolved oxygen meters will be available. We want to identify watersheds and participants that provide the maximum bang for the buck.

 

If you are an ISA member or group who:

 

1) spends substantial time on the water

2) is willing to carry one or two additional items on your fishing trips,

3) is willing spend 5 minutes during your fishing trips and collecting and recording relatively simple data for the sake of Illinois' streams and smallmouth...

 

...please contact me in PM and let me know which rivers you would be willing to monitor, how often, what time of day, what specific problems you see at the sites you would monitor, what kind of experience you have collecting and handling data, why you would like to participate and who can vouch for you. Let's talk.

 

Where should we monitor?

 

Rivers sites we would like to monitor would include:

 

1. High quality fisheries where changes in the watershed might affect water quality and fishing.

2. Places that have demonstrated problems with fish-kills in the past.

3. Places we spent large amounts of time and where we are likely to return for many years to come.

4. Places with optimal conditions for algae growth (little shade, high nutrients, slow current).

 

So far, these are the rivers at the top of our list:

 

Apple

DuPage

Fox

Kankakee

Kaskaskia

Mackinaw

Salt Fork

 

Maybe you know of other places where we can make a difference. Let's hear it. It's time to act.

 

We'd like to be able to distribute monitors and sampling kits on or soon after the Bronzeback Blowout.

 

Any questions or comments you have at all...just forward them here or in PM. Personally, I'm tremendously excited by the potential of this program. This is a chance to really make a difference.

 

This is what the ISA is all about!!

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Guest rich mc

i would like to have the kishwaukee added to the list. the south branch by Dekalb . should be easy to twist a few arms to get some local members involved . i can also monitor the indian creek where it enters the sate park. it get runoff from fields for 10 miles . rich

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i would like to have the kishwaukee added to the list. the south branch by Dekalb . should be easy to twist a few arms to get some local members involved.

 

The Kishwaukee would be a good candidate, especially since it has a sewage treatment plant and a USGS stream gauge on the main stem. I don't know about twisting arms, but if you have several people lined up and willing to collect data, that might work out well.

 

 

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If you are considering the N Branch of the Kish, I would easily be able to sample a couple times a week. What kind of interval are you looking for? From the same location every time? Same time of day?

 

I see you have the Apple on the list, but I don't think we have any members who fish it with the regularity which may be necessary. If you really want Apple data, maybe the best way would be to leave a monitor at the Park's main office. That way I, Paul, Don, Gregg, etc. could collectively get a decent # of samples.

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If you are considering the N Branch of the Kish, I would easily be able to sample a couple times a week. What kind of interval are you looking for? From the same location every time? Same time of day?

 

I see you have the Apple on the list, but I don't think we have any members who fish it with the regularity which may be necessary. If you really want Apple data, maybe the best way would be to leave a monitor at the Park's main office. That way I, Paul, Don, Gregg, etc. could collectively get a decent # of samples.

 

The sampling frequency is up to the person doing the sampling but more is better. We want these probes sampling water as much as possible.

 

Twice a week would be tremendous. Any time of day can be useful, but early morning data is best. That's when dissolved oxygen levels are lowest and problems will be obvious if they are there. Sampling at the same general time of day every time you sample is also preferable. Ideally, you would want to have the probe with you and available to use if you encounter something unusual while you're fishing too.

 

I really, really like the idea of leaving the probe with a responsible person and making it available to multiple members too.

 

The Apple is on the list specifically because of the dairy, because it's a very high quality stream and because it's a high quality fishery. We don't have to go there, but if we can we should try.

 

 

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I live 5 minutes away from the Rock river and would like to see this added to the list. I would be happy to collect samples below many of the discharge sights to make sure they are in compliance. I've seen some that look & smell questionable.

 

I hear you, Paul.

 

The Rock has has it's troubles with fish kills in the past. It makes sense to keep an eye on it too.

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Tim, I fish the Fox in downtown Batavia; and just south a few miles. I would be able to do samplings in either or both of those areas if they are good locations.

 

The Fox needs definitely needs attention, Pat. We'll have a probe out there for sure and thank you.

 

...and MANY thanks to all the people who have responded in PM and on this thread.

 

As has already been apparent for many years now, the ISA steps up when it counts and this has been no exception.

 

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