By: Angela Danovi, Beaver LakeSmart Program Director – Ozarks Water Watch
New data has been released for both the Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program and StreamSmart! The reports represent over 1500 hours of donated time to volunteer monitoring, valued at more than $25,000 in service!
Eighteen sites within the Beaver Lake Watershed were part of our 2015 monitoring report. Sites were grouped together in chapters by sub-watershed and were listed within each chapter from upstream to downstream.
- Beaver Reservoir Watershed – 2 sites
- Headwaters-White River-Lake Sequoyah Subwatershed – 2 sites
- Middle Fork of the White River Subwatershed – 1 site
- War Eagle Subwatershed – 9 sites
- West Fork of the White River Subwatershed – 4 sites
Upstream and downstream comparisons were made for Holman Creek, War Eagle and West Fork. Holman creek is monitored upstream and downstream of the city of Huntsville. Sharp increases in conductivity, total dissolved solids, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus were found when comparing the upstream site (site 307) to the downstream site (site 308) on Holman Creek. ADEQ has identified wastewater treatment as one potential contributor towards lower water quality in Holman Creek.
Data from War Eagle shows an increase in nutrients from the most upstream site (site 107) to the second site (site 301) on the creek at Withrow Springs State Park. Interestingly, Holman Creek flows into War Eagle just upstream of Withrow Springs, which could have an effect on higher nutrient levels found at the Withrow Springs monitoring site. But nutrient levels on War Eagle decrease further downstream at the mill (site 305). The site is the mill is sampled downstream of the dam, which may be one reason for a decrease in nutrient concentration found in War Eagle.
The main stem of the West Fork is monitored just north of Winslow (site 102) and just south of Fayetteville (site 101). There is no consistent trend in nitrogen concentrations and only a slight increase in phosphorus concentrations from upstream to downstream. The site with the highest concentrations of nutrients in the West Fork watershed was at Spout Spring Branch (site 206). Spout Springs is one of the few urban sites being monitored through StreamSmart. The stream flows through a large section of Fayetteville and is vulnerable to decreased water quality from stormwater runoff and other urban water quality impacts.
Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program
2015 was the second year for volunteer monitoring on Beaver Lake. Six sites were monitored this year and listed in the report from upstream to downstream. There was a general trend of increasing secchi depth from the upper sites to the lower sites in the lake. This is an expected outcome because as the water slows down, particulate matter and sediment drops out of the water column and settles at the bottom of the lake, resulting in increased water clarity. Comparing 2014 and 2015 data at the same site reveals slightly lower average secchi readings, slightly higher chlorophyll and phosphorus concentrations, and slightly lower nitrogen concentrations. However, more years of data are required before we will be able to establish a water quality trend.
Join a volunteer monitoring team today!
The success of these programs depends on a team of trained and reliable volunteers. 2016 lake monitoring will begin in late April and extend through the first week of September. Training will be provided in March.
StreamSmart training will be on Saturday, July 16, 2016. The training will be an in-class and field experience and will train volunteers on each component of volunteer monitoring with StreamSmart. If you are interested in volunteering with either the Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program or StreamSmart contact Angela Danovi at 479-295-7717 or email firstname.lastname@example.org