Stream Temperature Study
Stream temperature is an important water quality issue. High stream temperatures (>20°C) are lethal to fish and can harm many other life-forms that live in the stream. The Morrison Creek Streamkeepers have installed two small little temperature “dataloggers” that automatically record the stream water temperature every 4 hours. The 1st of the dataloggers is located near the headwaters, and the second is located down near the mouth of Morrison Creek at the very bottom of the watershed. The data is downloaded onto a computer using a portable shuttle device. Here are some photos of the dataloggers. The data obtained from this study will be posted in this section in the near future.
This project was started in late July 2009. We were fortunate to get low flow data for the past summer and fall as this was the driest period on record (since 1936)! Six staff gauges (large 1 meter “rulers” that measure the height of water) are located throughout the watershed and are monitored twice per week by our volunteers. If you’d like to help out with this project, please see the Get Involved section on this site.
Use the graphs below to get an approximate flow rate based on a staff gauge reading at any of the six sites in the watershed.
- provide baseline data to measure the effectiveness of watershed management initiatives such as stream enhancement;
- provide baseline data to measure the effects of future land-use changes, such as urban development or resource-based industrial development;
- identify different species of salmonids that live in the streams;
- provide an idea as to the total number of fish the watershed can support;
- provide information on year-to-year coho smolt productivity for regional stock management analysis.
In addition to providing valuable data, the smolt fence is an excellent public outreach tool. It is an excellent opportunity for the local community to get involved in watershed-based activities.
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2002 was the first ever year that the Streamkeepers operated a smolt fence in Morrison Creek. Our volunteers counted a total of 15,116 coho smolts, and 814 trout (rainbow and cutthroat) in the 58 days of operation. The 2002 Morrison Creek Smolt Fence Data can be found here. We have been putting up a smolt fence almost every spring since then.
Our last year of counting was exhausting as 2009 was a banner year for salmon in the Creek. We finished with: 172,975 chum fry; 11,264 coho smolts; 138 cutthroat trout; and 18 rainbow trout. The small number of trout was because we reduced the size of the intake to exclude them as they were getting into the box and consuming large numbers of salmon fry! Unfortunately, the lamprey numbers are decreasing and therefore we could not get permits to continue with the smolt fence in subsequent years.