Citizen Science River Surveys

Surveying Streams, Trails, and Roads for Coldwater Conservation

At long last — the Forest Service, NC Wildlife Commission, and Trout Unlimited are ready to go (again) on the citizen science work. Some of you may have joined us for training in July on Grogan Creek in the Davidson River watershed. Please note, we have revised a few things with our protocols and survey design, based in large part on the feedback that was given. We feel that we now have something that is more user-friendly, offers additional chances to take more quantitative measures, and that will deliver meaningful information to help in the listing and prioritization of coldwater conservation projects in the coming years.


We have two focal areas in which we are going to collect data over the next three years or more.

Those focal areas include:

  • Sky Island – an exotic name for the Upper Tuckaseigee, Upper Pigeon, North and South Fork Mills, Davidson and Cathey’s Creek watersheds.
  • The Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River watershed.


We have three core survey and monitoring needs (or tracks) in which you can participate.

  • Sedimentation surveys on roads, trails, and in-stream.
  • Fish passage barrier surveys.
  • Water temperature collections.

Training Dates

Sedimentation Surveys

9 am – 2 pm for each training session.

Easy to learn but surveyors will need to have the capacity to physically handle hikes and in-stream walks.

  • Thursday, November 15, 2018 (Sky Island Focal Area)
  • Tuesday, December 4, 2018 (Wilson Creek Focal Area)
  • Thursday, December 13, 2018 (Wilson Creek Focal Area)

Fish Passage Barrier Surveys

9 am – 4 pm for each training session.

The 26th will be a less formal, educational day. The 10th and 11th will be detailed training and will require 1½ days. We’ve got your lunches covered!

  • Monday, November 26, 2018 (Sky Island Focal Area)
  • Monday and Tuesday, December 10th and 11th, 2018 (Sky Island Focal Area)

Water Temperature Collections

We are partnering with the University of Georgia to install 12 data loggers in the Sky Island Area.

Training is simple. Collections are easy. Once you are in charge of a data logger it’s a matter of driving to that site and checking it periodically.

There will be training date(s) in November or December, but they have not yet been determined.  Once we have a head count we will coordinate training dates with the UGA researcher.

Get Involved

If you are interested in any of the above training, contact Andy Brown at Details for each training, such as location, are still being determined and will be coordinated by Andy, based on interest.