New Wave of Stream Monitoring

Creek Freaks Workshop_credit Tom Hughes

It’s been a busy spring for Izaak Walton League clean water staff and interns. They’ve been traveling across Maryland and up the East Coast to conduct stream monitoring classes. Here are a few highlights.

The League celebrated the first national Citizen Science Day with a workshop for teachers and volunteers taking part in our joint venture, "Creek Freaks Meets Trout in the Classroom." Students are excited about raising and releasing fish, so why not teach them about clean water too?

IWLA interns conducted a stream monitoring workshop at the League’s Rockville Chapter in Maryland. Teachers from Montgomery County Public Schools and students from Hood College learned how to educate youth about water quality and conduct physical, chemical, and biological stream monitoring. "I have never seen a group of adults love being in the water so much," said Creek Freaks Coordinator Steven Pearce. "The stream was teeming with dobsonfly larvae, which really gave the workshop participants a lot of confidence in their ability to collect and identify these macroinvertebrates."

The League is not only training teachers, we’re helping with hands-on education as well, working directly with students across two Maryland counties at their trout releases. Classes from Kindergarten through 12th grade have been raising trout to learn about fish habitat and the importance of clean water. Bringing in the stream monitoring component helps students understand the connection between clean water and healthy fish populations.

Samantha Roth, the League’s new Clean Water Fellow, took Creek Freaks to central New York, where she helped train faculty and students from SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College. The workshop — a joint effort of the Izaak Walton League, Project Watershed, and New York Chapter of the American Fisheries Society — featured hands-on instruction and classes to train educators on teaching youth about water quality monitoring, aquatic ecology, and fishing.

How-To Videos for Stream Monitoring

Want to check the water quality in your neighborhood creek but not sure how to get started? Need to brush up on your stream monitoring skills?

Two new League videos offer step-by-step instructions on testing local waterways using chemical tests (such as pH levels) and biological monitoring (looking at the macroinvertebrates living there).

Visit the League’s YouTube channel to find these new videos and many other resources under our Stream Monitoring Play List.