More procedures

Sketch the reach (the site map): In addition to the observations above, volunteer monitors are asked to sketch a site map of the reach.  Draw the site map from direct observation.  It should show the main features of the site and their relationship as accurately as possible.  As fieldwork continues, modify the map with features such as important habitat conditions (i.e. eroding banks, bars etc.) and indicate the approximate location of water sample and macroinvertebrate sample collection locations. Scale the map to show the entire reach surveyed. 

Photo documentation
: Photographs provide a simple method for recording the stream reach conditions. They can be used to document general physical conditions, pollution events and other impacts; and document temporal progress for restoration efforts. Use the same camera, to the extent possible, for the photos throughout the life of the station. From the inception of any photo documentation until it is complete, always take each photo from the same position (photo point), and at the same bearing and vertical angle. For general reach documentation, take at least two photos that show the entire reach. More specific photos can be taken if necessary. Try to include landscape features that are unlikely to change over several years (e.g. rocky outcrops, cliffs, large trees, buildings or other permanent structures) so that repeat photos will be easy to position. It is often important to include a ruler, stadia rod or person in the photo to convey the scale. An overhead shot from an elevated position such as a bridge can be useful for conveying full dimensions.

Land use impacts: The purpose of this portion of the survey is designed to get an overall picture of the land surrounding and draining the stream reach. A basic assessment will help you better understand what problems to expect and where to look for those problems. The first step is to review your topographic map and aerial photographs that include your stream stations. Prior to or after completing a stream survey, drive or walk portions of the watershed upstream from your stations to locate any possible activity that may threaten your stream reach. Keep in mind that this rating is simply your judgments of the level of impacts; it is not an actual assessment of the real impacts. The only way to assess a specific impact or activity is to set-up an impact assessment study.
 
Important Note: All surveys are mailed to the coordinator so that a proper quality assurance review can occur.  After the review is complete the survey data sheets are returned to the volunteer monitoring groups along with a summary of the results, and including other comments or questions the coordinator may have.  The data is then entered into the Volunteer Assessment Database (VAD).

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