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Volunteers Monitor Stream Water Quality

TitleVolunteers Monitor Stream Water Quality
Author/CreatorCobourn, John; Purdy, Shelly; Segale, Heather M.
Related item(s)Press Release available at
Date Original2004-07-06
Summary/DescriptionLake Tahoe Report Segment #74 - "Macroinvertibrate" (Air Date: July 6, 2004). Chris Rosamond, a Truckee River Aquatic Monitors Volunteer, and Beth Christman from the Truckee River Watershed Council discuss how collecting and identifying bugs in the rivers and streams within the Truckee River Watershed can help identify sediment levels.
SubjectFreshwater invertebrates -- Tahoe, Lake, Region (Calif. and Nev.)
LocationLake Tahoe (Calif. and Nev)
Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
CollectionThe Lake Tahoe Report
Original PublisherLake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (
Electronic PublisherUniversity of Nevada, Reno - Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies
Ordering and Permissions InformationFor more information, contact the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, or 775-832-4138.
Date Digital2005-03-14
RelationRequires Windows Media Player
Resource TypeMoving Image
Contributing InstitutionUniversity of Nevada, Reno
TranscriptionSegment 74: Macroinvertibrates (aka: bugs) Air Date: 7/6/04 Tease (TRAM tape 2 @ 2:31) "I'm Shelly Purdy here at Sagehen Creek. I'll take you under the water into a bug's life in tonight's Lake Tahoe Report." Anchor Intro: One of the best ways to check the water quality of rivers and streams is NOT to chemically test the water. Instead, the best way to test the water is to look at the bugs that live in it. Shelly Purdy explains in tonight's Lake Tahoe Report. ((Take PKG)) ((Natpop water in Sagehen Creek) ((track 1)) This is Sagehen Creek…a beautiful little stream just off highway 89 north of Truckee. It's a quiet, peaceful area that's a favorite of hikers and fishermen. From the looks of it, there's not much going on at Sagehen Creek…but looks can be deceiving. ((s/u TRAM tape 2 @ 2:07 Shelly Purdy)) "When you look at a stream like this from the surface it's hard to imagine there's an entire world living underneath." ((Track 2)) A world of bugs that come to life if you know how to look for them. ((sot@ 10:19, Chris Rosamond Truckee River Aquatic Monitors Volunteer)) "What you do is you come in and scrub a certain surface area of the sub striate in the stream." ((track 3)) In other words…you scrub all the bugs off the rocks underwater and let them float into a net. ((natpop @ 12:59)) "Get this sample and take a look at it…" ((sot @ 25:20)) "We try to get as many different types of microhabitats as possible. We scrub different stones and gravel and weedbeds and so forth to try and find the maximum number of animals." ((track 4)) It's important to get as many different types of bugs as possible to better gauge the health of the stream. The type of bugs you find tells you whether a water body is healthy or not. ((sot @ 31:37 Beth Christman, Truckee River Watershed Council)) "Bugs are really one of the best ways of really pinpointing the impacts to a stream due to sediment." ((sot @27:40)) "You can look at that sediment as bad cholesterol. It's sort of like this plaque that gets in there and totally changes the community because dissolved oxygen drops and you'll start losing your good water quality bugs." ((track 5)) Here at Sagehen creek there's mostly good bugs, and that means the water quality is relatively good. The Truckee River Aquatic Monitors will continue to test Sagehen and other area waterways to make sure it stays that way. With the Lake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition, I'm Shelly Purdy for KOLO NC8. Anchor Tag: The Truckee River Aquatic Monitors use volunteers to collect and identify bugs in the rivers and streams within the Truckee River Watershed. Their data is shared with state agencies and other researchers and used to identify future restoration projects.

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