by Andy Otto, Program Director

2013 marks the 13th year of Snapshot Day in the Lake Tahoe watershed. On May 11th, hundreds of volunteers came out to join us across the Tahoe Basin and Truckee River watershed for a morning of citizen stream monitoring. Volunteers were split into groups with trained team leaders and spent their morning taking samples to complete chemical and physical monitoring while learning about water quality and the importance of our unique watershed. Truckee River Watershed Council coordinated the event for the Truckee area. In our area, over 50 volunteers sampled 26 sites on streams from below the dam at Tahoe City to the Little Truckee River.

Kerensa Kruse sampling at Pole Creek on Snapshot Day 2012 (photo: Stefan McLeod)I would personally like to thank all of our volunteers who came out to experience their streams and rivers first hand! This event would not be possible without the support of our community and their continued involvement with our Truckee River watershed. Thank you again to every volunteer who made this event happen!

If you missed Snapshot day and want to get (or stay!) involved, Truckee River Watershed Council continues to monitor watershed streams three additional times per year in addition to Snapshot Day through our Adopt-A-Stream program. We need volunteers to spend several hours during the scheduled monitoring periods to collect water quality data throughout the watershed. Additional monitoring dates for 2013 are: June 27-29, July 25-27 and September 26-28.

Individuals, families, community groups and/or student groups can also “Adopt-a-Stream.” Adopted streams are monitored by a committed team of volunteers four times a year, starting with Snapshot day in May and continuing for the three additional monitoring dates through September. We train the teams and provide all the equipment and supplies. Depending on the location of the stream, it takes two-four hours to complete each monitoring session. Please contact me by email or phone at 530-550-8760 x3 if you’d like to learn more. If adopting a stream isn’t for you right now, watch our newsletter (sign up here) or for reminders about upcoming monitoring dates this summer. We’d love to have you join us!