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It's Time to Get In the Streams – Adopt-A-Stream


February 22, 2018

SEELEY LAKE - Despite all the lovely white stuff falling from the sky right now, the Clearwater Resource Council and the Blackfoot Challenge are gearing up for run-off. We will be running our Adopt-A-Stream program again this year. We are seeking volunteers to help us get out to the streams once each week and collect water samples. If you’re interested in helping out, or just curious, please join us at The Hub (Bison and Bear Mall) Monday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. for a program introduction and training session.

The in-classroom session will be followed by an [optional] outdoor classroom. Come prepared with appropriate outdoor attire if you’d like to head out to the stream with us. Mother Nature will determine the start date when sampling begins but we typically start near the end of February or early March and run the program through early July.

The Adopt-A-Stream program volunteers collect water samples weekly of run-off from area streams. Volunteers also read and record several stream water characteristics such as depth, color and clarity. The samples are tested for nutrients that ultimately find their way into our lakes. The nasty blue-green algae blooms that have been occurring on several of our lakes are signs that too many nutrients may be getting into our lakes.

We know that nutrient loads will be greatly increased in the streams coming out of the burned areas for some time until the land heals but especially during this first run-off after the fires. Fourteen of our target streams are affected by the Rice Ridge Fire and five are affected by the Liberty Fire. This program will allow early detection of trouble spots and help inform restoration or mitigation decisions. It is also an important opportunity to compare pre- and post- fire data, as we have been monitoring the fire-affected streams for several years.

If you’d like to help with this important effort, or are just looking for an excuse to get outdoors regularly, please join us Feb. 26. For additional information please call Joann Wallenburn 210-8453 or email


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