freshwater monitoring

Freshwater Monitoring

Previous River and Stream Monitoring

Watershed Health looks for regional trends since 2009

The Washington State Department of Ecology monitors eight Status and Trends Regions statewide in a cycle that allows a look at regional trends.

Random sites help estimate regional conditions and trends

Regional sites are randomly chosen from among a panel of sites that fit study criteria. The streams must be naturally formed, freshwater, flow year-round, and must not be on Federal nor Tribal lands. From 2009-2016, Ecology sampled 470 random sites. Half of the sites in a sample season are drawn from those that were already sampled in the previous survey. Comparing results over time should objectively show if regional conditions decline or improve.

Reference sites give context to random sites

Reference sites are 90 locations hand-picked to represent least-disturbed conditions from each of three larger-scale reference regions around the state. Sixteen of these sites, called the Sentinel sites, are sampled every year and provide a way to estimate statewide large-scale environmental changes across years.

See where we have sampled, so far

Explore the maps below to see the sites we've sampled from 2009-2016.


Map of Randomly Selected Sites 2009-2016 Sentinel and Bioassessment Reference Sites 2009-2016

Sampling Schedules explains more about where our scientists have been and are going for Rounds One and Two of randomized regional sampling.