National Park Service

Upper Columbia Basin Network (UCBN)

Integrated Water Quality Monitoring

Aquaitc macroinvertebrate sampling at Big Hole NB
Aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling at Big Hole NB

Integrated Water Quality Monitoring Resource Briefs

Water Quality Inventory Reports

Water Quality Monitoring Reports

Water Quality Monitoring Protocol & Procedures

For more information contact: Eric Starkey

Parks Monitored

Vital Signs Addressed

  • Aquatic Macroinvertebrates
  • Water Chemistry

Importance / Issues

  • Monitoring of NPS water resources has been identified as a core objective of the national Inventory & Monitoring program as well as by several Upper Columbia Basin Network parks. All Network waters assessed by state Department of Environmental Quality agencies are on 303(d) lists for impairment of at least one parameter.
  • Unlike many water resources in the National Park system, most of the Network parks and water bodies are only small proportions of their watersheds. Consequently, water quality and aquatic resources are strongly affected by activities outside of the park boundaries, and NPS management authority and capability for water quality improvement in water bodies that pass through the parks is minimal.
  • However, aquatic environments are disproportionately important in terms of biodiversity, biological productivity, and many other ecosystem functions and values. Assessing water quality will offer a better understanding of the changes in productivity of the overall system, species abundances and distributions, and nutrient cycles.
  • Consequently, the Upper Columbia Basin Network has prioritized two water quality vital signs (aquatic macroinvertebrates and water chemistry) and has implemented an integrated water quality monitoring protocol to address these vital signs.

Monitoring Objectives

  • Determine status and long term trend in key water quality parameters for selected streams within UCBN park units.
  • Determine status and trend in aquatic macroinvertebrate abundance, assemblage composition, and functional feeding group composition in wadeable streams within the UCBN.

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Last Updated: April 05, 2017 Contact Webmaster