SRWG Volunteer Monitoring Project

Administering Entity: Sun River Watershed Group (SRWG)
Entity Type(s): Watershed Groups
Select all that Apply: Streams, Rivers
Primary Data Type(s): Discharge, Water Chemistry
Primary Watershed Monitoring Objective(s): Problem identification, Trends, WQ Standards Attainment, Restoration Project Effectiveness, Streamgage, Pollution Source Assessment, Project Identification, Education and Outreach, Drinking Water Source Quality
Subbasin: Sun, MT (10030104)
Counties: Cascade County, Lewis and Clark County, Teton County
Volunteers: Yes
Contact Name: Travis Wilson
Contact Email: twilson.srwg@gmail.com

The goal of this sampling project is to add to the existing Sun River water quality monitoring dataset that will subsequently be used to assess trends in water quality and track progress towards reaching the goals of the Sun River TMDL plan, the Sun River Watershed Restoration Plan (WRP) (2004), and to determine the effects of the improvement projects since those plans were developed. Relevant goals from the WRP include: 1) Freezout Lake reduction of salinity and selenium; 2) Sun River from Gibson Dam to Vaughn improvements of riparian vegetation, sedimentation levels, and water temperature; 3) Sun River from Vaughn to mouth improvements of nitrogen levels, phosphorus levels, sedimentation levels, and total suspended sediment levels; 4) Muddy Creek from headwaters to mouth improvements of nitrogen levels, phosphorus levels, sedimentation levels, and total suspended sediment levels. The field data collected by SRWG will be considered along with all other readily available data obtained from federal, state and local agencies, other interested water quality organizations, and individuals in evaluating progress towards meeting water quality standards in the Sun River. A desirable outcome of continued monitoring is in identifying, evaluating and remediating the sources/contributing factors to nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads in Muddy Creek, Mill Coulee, Big Coulee, and Adobe Creek. Data collected between 2004 and 2009 provides clear evidence of contributions to impairment from these tributaries. It is important to maintain monitoring stations to track changes in tributary impairment. Continued monitoring provides data to evaluate whether projects have impacted sources/contributing factors to nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads. This data and evaluation will assist in determining sources/contributing factors as well as the efficacy of various project approaches.