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Science Seminar Series

 

319 Middle Eel River Initiative

              Great news!  The 319 Middle Eel River Initiative was reauthorized for an additional 3 years.  The grant will provide $600,000 through 2015.  Of this amount $260,000 will be available to cost share best management practices with local farmers with the remainder funding public outreach and water quality monitoring over 30 miles of the river.  This summer four student research technicians were hired through the new 319 grant.  The crew had an eventful and challenging summer due to the rainy conditions.  With an increase in rain totals across the watershed, the crew became very familiar with water analysis.  They analyzed nearly 800 water samples in just two months. The second half of the summer was spent conducting biological sampling for fish and mussels. Each member on the 319 crew had the opportunity to participate in the following sampling techniques:

  • Water Chemistry & E. Coli
    • What is in the water and how much.
  • Proficient use in the use of automatic water samplers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Electrofishing
    • Backpack, Tote Barge, and Boat
      • To sample fish species within the river
  • Fish Identification
    • Be able to identify by site fish species within the river

     

       

     

    Paired Watershed Research

                  This summer was the first field season for the new paired watershed study that was funded through the State Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. This project examines the effect of fall cover crops on two watersheds (one 2,500 acres and one 1,600 acres).   Student researchers used automatic water samplers, data loggers, and other technology to collect and analyze many water samples.  The parameters of interest include suspended sediment, Total Phosphorus, and nitrate-Nitrogen.  The students also determined examined the biological community in each stream from the confluence with the Eel River to the gage stations (see map). Over the course of the summer they participated in the following:

    • Water Chemistry
    • Proficient use in the use of automatic water samplers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
    • Hydrology
    • Electrofishing
      • Backpack, Tote Barge, and Boat
    • Fish Identification
      • Be able to identify by site fish species within the river
   

 

Dam Removal

              This was the final summer of the dam removal research. In October 2012 two dams, one in North Manchester and the other in Liberty mills, were removed from the eel river. Before the dams were removed fish and habitat scores were documented along with cross sectional profiles of the river. This data was collected to be able to determine what effect the removal of the dam would have on the ecosystem. Now that the dams are removed the two students hired this summer were able to collect the same data as before and start make conclusions about the effect the dams had on the river. The sampling techniques used this summer are as follows:

  • Stream Morphology
  • Electrofishing
    • Tote barge
  • Fish Identification
  • Population Estimates
   
     

 

Black Bass

   

 

Miscellaneous Summer Pictures



 
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