2005 Monitoring Review

The 2005 monitoring season on Big Chico Creek saw expanded citizen participation, the addition of six new sites and a range of new monitoring objectives.

One of the primary goals of the Big Chico Creek volunteer monitoring program is to provide education and training to the stakeholders of Big Chico Creek interested in participating in our monitoring efforts. Well over 100 people joined the ranks of citizen volunteer monitors during 2005.

From young students to retired professionals, interest and involvement in water and habitat quality of the watershed increased this year. The many different perspectives, insights and energies brought by the volunteers served to enhance everyone’s experience while out working in the creek. The list of participants represents a dynamic cross-section of people from our community, each with a commonality of enthusiasm for the protection and enhancement of Big Chico Creek.

From training sessions provided on the proper use of monitoring equipment and standardized protocols through the implementation of field monitoring, volunteers brought a level of dedication that reflects a growing understanding of the importance of our watershed.

During 2004 four sites were monitored, and in 2005 ten sites were monitored including: Highway 32 bridge crossing, Higgin’s Hole, Ecological Reserve, Brown’s Hole, Bear Hole, 5-Mile, 1-Mile, Warner Street, Rose Avenue, and the mouth at River Road. These ten sites within the three regions of Big Chico Creek (mountain, foothill and valley) allow for a more comprehensive look at the health of the watershed.

With CALFED funding received this year our efforts were expanded through the formation of the Chico Urban Streams Alliance, a collaborative urban run-off prevention program involving Butte Environmental Council, Kennedy and Jinks, and the City of Chico. We were able to increase our monitoring objectives to include nutrient and bacterial testing and conduct aquatic insect surveys.

Thanks to the conscientiousness of our volunteers the data we have collected will be shared and used to understand the overall health and trends of Big Chico Creek for years to come.

This year was a huge success for the Big Chico Creek volunteer monitoring program. New things were learned, awareness was raised, and new friends were met.