SWMTU launches ambitious temperature monitoring study – volunteers needed

In 2009 and 2010, SWMTU will conduct a temperature monitoring program on several area trout and salmon rivers in West Michigan.

On SATURDAY, MAY 2 we will be installing temperature logging equipment in the Rogue River and Tyler Creek in Kent County, the Pigeon River in Ottawa County, and Prairie Creek in Ionia County.  Volunteers are needed to help with the installation as well as to check on the units once a month and download the data on occasion.  No previous experience is necessary, as all the volunteers will be trained in how to install and handle the equipment.  The training and installation of the equipment will take place at 9 AM ON SATURDAY, MAY 2, on the Rogue River at the mouth of Stegman Creek, which is accessed from the Scout Camp grounds on Rector Road, just north of 12 Mile Road off Summit Avenue (click here for map to site).  Volunteers are asked to bring waders, and small sledge hammers.  Anyone that owns a handheld GPS unit and a digital camera is also encouraged to bring it along.

Please email Jim Flamming at jjflamming@ftch.com or call him at 616-365-3106 if you are interested in volunteering for this fun and informative project.

FURTHER BACKGROUND REGARDING STUDY:

During 2007 and 2008, Michigan Trout Unlimited (MTU) invested significant resources into the development of the Groundwater Extraction Rule that was passed as part of the Great Lakes Compact.  The Groundwater Extraction Rule establishes limits on the amount of groundwater that can be pumped based on the potential impact it will have on nearby streams and surfacewaters.  Removing groundwater that would normally end up in a stream can result in lower baseline flows and seasonally higher in-stream water temperatures.  The Rule states that the amount of water that is allowed to be removed in an area, depends upon the normal temperature characteristics of the impacted stream.  As a result, it is important to know whether a given stream is a classified as a coldwater, cool water, cool transitional, or warmwater stream.  To facilitate the implementation of the new Rule, a modeling tool has been developed by the state to evaluate the temperature impacts upon streams that could result from proposed extraction wells.  The model was developed based on a DNR database of temperature readings from various streams across the state, but this database is incomplete.

As part of MTU’s continuing work to refine and strengthen the existing modeling tool and to fill in gaps in the DNR temperature database, SWMTU will be launching a stream temperature monitoring program on four local rivers. This effort has been largely funded by Michigan Trout Unlimited with funds obtained through a National Trout Unlimited Embrace-A-Stream Grant, TU’s flagship stream improvement grant program.

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