Water Quality Monitoring

Trout Unlimited believes that angler-based, community science water quality monitoring efforts will play a large role in the preservation of coldwater fish species and their habitats as well as ensure years of recreational opportunities for future generations.

Water Quality Manual

TU has developed a water quality manual to provide chapters, members, anglers, outdoor enthusiasts, and others interested in water quality with the information necessary to monitor their local streams. Unfortunately, many state agencies and environmental organizations simply do not have the resources to adequately monitor our nation’s bountiful flowing freshwater resources. Trout Unlimited chapters, members, and other volunteers can help fill information gaps by collecting water quality information and collaborating with state agencies, environmental organizations, and local universities to promote the health of rivers and freshwater ecosystems and ensure the enjoyment of these resources for generations to come.

WiseH20 mApp

In 2019 the Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter (Western WI) and TU’s national science team partnered with MobileH2O, LLC in Boise, ID to develop a customized mobile application (WiseH2O mApp) that can be used by anglers and other volunteers to monitor water quality and habitat conditions in Driftless Area trout streams (see Driftless Area Restoration Effort). The mApp makes use of test strip technology to measure basic water chemistry and nutrient levels (nitrogen and phosphorus) and returns real-time results to the user.  The mApp can also log information on stream disturbances (e.g. bank erosion, trash, fish barrier, etc.) and water temperature, water clarity and level, take pictures, and more. 

Kiap-TU-Wish anglers received training, were organized by Kiap-TU-Wish leaders Kent Johnson and John Kaplan, and then tested the mApp on 10 local streams and rivers throughout the past year.  In all, Kiap-TU-Wish anglers made 83 observations, provided feedback to the developers on mApp improvements, learned about water quality in their backyard, and added to the broader knowledge of regional water quality.

You can explore the data collected by Kiap-TU-Wish members in this data visualization tool, and a project report is available on the MobileH2O website.

The WiseH2O mApp in use.