The Nature Conservancy has initiated restoration projects on its Silver Creek Preserve, a prized trout fishery. They turned to the USGS for expertise in ecological monitoring to guide their efforts.
Providing Unbiased Science for Idaho's Silver Creek Preserve
Kilpatrick Pond, created by a 19th century irrigation dam, has captured sediment, slowed water velocities, and increased water temperatures as much as 10°F, stressing fish and the macroinvertebrates they feed on.
Cold-water adapted macroinvertebrates, such as these mayflies, are good indicators for the health of an ecosystem. Our assessment will track the macroinvertebrate community throughout the Kilpatrick Pond restoration project.
On Kilpatrick Pond, we've installed artificial substrate (top inset) that aquatic insects can colonize. We'll compare pre- and post-restoration samples to assess how well the insects adapt to restoration efforts.
Our biologists work with Preserve staff and volunteers to collect, examine, identify, measure (top inset), and count fish populations. Our sampling efforts have shown a healthy rainbow and brown trout population.
What's Up Upstream?
At home or on the go, you can access real-time information about Idaho's water resources provided by the USGS.
USGS WaterWatch (shown at right) provides a statewide snapshot of streamflow conditions compared to historical data for this date.
USGS WaterAlert lets you set conditions you want to know about (flow, level, temperature) to receive text or e-mail alerts when those conditions are met.
USGS WaterNow lets you query a USGS monitoring station and receive a return text with current conditions at that station.
Check out this fact sheet about these and other web-based tools from the USGS.
USGS Assesses Debris-Flow Risk near Hailey after the 2013 Beaver Creek Fire
USGS scientist Kenneth Skinner used a model to produce this post-fire debris-flow assessment to help predict where debris-flows may occur and the amount of material that may be involved.
Our Latest Publications
Streamflow Monitoring and Statistics for Development of Water Rights Claims...Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing a management plan for some "Wild and Scenic" river segments in the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness. Part of this plan includes applying for new water right claims, though the rugged terrain and budget constraints make it difficult to collect the streamflow data to support the claims. The BLM asked us to find a more cost-effective, statistically-based solution.
USGS hydraulic engineer Molly Wood combined regional streamflow records with short-term measurements to develop statistics from synthetic streamflow records for the targeted river segments. Read our recent report to learn more about the data-collection analysis techniques and streamflow statistics for this important scientific study.
Iodine-129 in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer at and near the Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho, 2010-12: U.SOur staff has monitored iodine-129 in the aquifer since 1977.
In this report, USGS scientist Roy Bartholomay explains the purpose, methods, and results of our sampling program related to iodine-129 concentration in groundwater between 2010-2013. He's found that iodine-129 concentrations have decreased in most wells at and near the INL through the continued natural processes of dilution and dispersion. Groundwater from some wells south and east of the INL showed slight increases in iodine-129 concentrations which may be a result of less recharge to the aquifer—less dilution—in these areas.