National Park Service

Upper Columbia Basin Network (UCBN)

Stream Channel Characteristics Monitoring

NPS field crew sampling in the Big Hole River
NPS field crew sampling in the Big Hole River

Stream Channel Characteristics Monitoring Resource Briefs

Stream Channel Characteristics & Riparian Condition Monitoring Reports

Stream Channel Characteristics Monitoring Protocol & Procedures

For more information contact: Eric Starkey

Parks to be Monitored

Importance / Issues

There is an intimate connection between stream channels and the surrounding landscape. Stream channels are a product of regional geomorphology, hydrology, riparian vegetation, upland vegetation, land use and water use. Within a stream, channel characteristics profoundly influence habitat for aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish. This connection between the surrounding landscape, stream channels, and aquatic habitat makes monitoring channel characteristics an important aspect of natural resource monitoring in the UCBN. In addition, stream channel monitoring assists in the interpretation of results obtained by the UCBN’s integrated water quality monitoring protocol. Due to the inextricable relationship between riparian vegetation and stream channel morphology, field efforts will be coordinated closely with the Network’s riparian condition vital sign.

Monitoring Objectives

  • Determine the status of bank stability, percent undercut, bank angle, percent fines, and other key stream channel characteristics for selected wadeable stream reaches in BIHO, CIRO, JODA, NEPE, and WHMI.
  • Determine the direction and magnitude of change over time for bank stability, percent undercut, bank angle, percent fines, and other key stream channel characteristics, and establish whether those changes reflect impacts from management or land use activities in BIHO, CIRO, JODA, NEPE, and WHMI.
  • Determine the condition of key stream channel attributes within selected wadeable UCBN stream reaches, relative to PIBO sample reaches in the same watershed.
  • Determine if changes in stream channels, specifically bank erosion, are likely to negatively impact cultural resources within the floodplain at BIHO.

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Last Updated: April 05, 2017 Contact Webmaster