Arrowhead Stream Biological and Water Quality Survey


Arrowhead Cove in the site of a pilot dredging project in Deep Creek Lake.  The Deep Creek Watershed Foundation is using this opportunity to conduct a biological and water quality survey of Arrowhead Run, a tributary to Deep Creek Lake.

The area of interest encompasses an approximately 0.4 mi. reach extending from a natural wetland at the upstream boundary to its confluence with Deep Creek Lake.  Two in-stream 100-m sampling stations will be designated and georeferenced – (1) below outflow of wetland; and – (2) above confluence with Deep Creek Lake where stream channel is well-defined. At each site a water sample will be collected, fish community composition will be determined by electrofishing, and macroinvertebrate community sampled by kick or sweep netting. An in-stream habitat evaluation score will be determined at each sampling site.  In addition, water samples will be collected above and below the wetland to determine its effect on downstream water quality, particularly nutrient and suspended solids loadings. A project summary will be prepared based on analyses described above that can serve as a baseline for future biomonitoring and bioassessment.

Water quality.  On-site measurements of temperature (C), pH, specific conductance uS/cm2 will be taken at the time of biological sampling at Stations 1 and 2.  A sample will be taken for analysis of total alkalinity (mg/l as CaCO3) in the laboratory at California University.  Samples will also be collected above and below the wetland and transported to a certified laboratory (H&H Water Controls, Carmichaels, PA) for analyses of nitrates, phosphates, and total suspended solids (TSS).

Habitat. In-stream habitat quality will be scored and presented for Stations 1 and 2 employing the US EPA’s Rapid Bioassessment methodology (Barbour et al. 1999).

Fish. The fish community at each Station will be sampled over each 100 m reach by back-pack electrofishing. All collected individuals will be identified to species, enumerated, and released.

Macroinvertebrates. Macroinvertebrate sampling will be conducted at each Station by kick or sweep-netting according to substrate characteristics (Barbour et al. 1999). All organisms will be preserved in 70% isopropyl alcohol and transported to California University for processing.  Organisms collected will be identified to the lowest practicable taxonomic level and enumerated.  

Assessment Summary. The status of resident fish and macroinvertebrate communities are recognized indicators of stream health. Data from water quality and biotic analyses will be integrated into a comprehensive report on the condition of Arrowhead Run and provide a baseline for future biomonitoring and assessment.

The Foundation is negotiating with the University to have conduct this research to establish a base line for the stream.  It is the Foundations wish to extend this work into all of the tributaries in the  Deep Creek Watershed.

The Foundation will be pleased to accept donations for this effort.  Go to the Donations page to do so.