Water quality testing at the renovated Beaver Creek!

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Member, Nicole Poletto

It was a beautiful morning to check out Beaver Creek and conduct some water quality tests.  Last week, 40 snags (logs) were added to the stream – a 3 very expensive year project that finally came into realization!  These snags will be vital for salmon habitat and improving channel complexity.

We broke off into two groups for morning and afternoon shifts: Mr. Tarbell led stream mapping and Meghan and Nicole (SOLVE) led macroinvertebrate sampling.  During our lunch break on the beautiful shore of the Sandy, a blue heron even flew by to say hello!

The macroinvertebrate group played a game of riparian metaphors, reviewing why native vegetation in our stream bank is so important.  Then it was time to pull on boots and waders and hop in the stream to get some macroinvertebrate samples.  Students agitated a small area in front of a D-net downstream, rubbing off rocks and stirring the sediment to sample the insects that live in that area.  Boots were flooded, crayfish were captured, and water was splashed.

We brought the samples up to the stream bank to analyze what we found: mostly small minnow mayflies, black fly larvae, and green rock worms.  Water fights erupted in the hot afternoon sun and 4 crayfish were found minutes before it was time to hop on the bus!

Thanks so much for a beautiful day Portland Lutheran, we can’t wait to hear the results of your in-class data analysis!

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