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What does a site look like?

Intermittent streams come in all shapes and sizes. These streams can vary widely depending on where you live and can transform from an indistinguishable feature when there is no flow to an easily recognizable stream when there is flow.

These guidelines will help you to recognize these often small and overlooked streams, whether you are searching for an established hotspot or establishing a new site to add to the network. 



Channel likely does not always have flow

You probably won't know if a stream is intermittent unless you have seen it dry up. Therefore, look for flowing streams that you think could dry up seasonally or for dry stream channels that look like they convey flow at some point during the year. When in doubt, add the site.


An evident channel where water can flow

An evident channel is distinguishable by features that make it different than the surrounding area. This could be ground cover (rocks/pebbles/bare ground), vegetation (amount, type), evidence of flow, or presence of flow structures (large culverts, trail modifications)  


Channel recognizable with or without water

A stream can look completely different once it dries. Try to avoid seeps and sites that may look very obvious when flowing but would be indistinguishable if water was not present. Think of if someone else were to navigate to this site, would the site still be obvious?


Channel intersects a public road or trail*

Marking streams where they intersect roads and trails helps others easily find your site. As our sites are on public land, this also ensures we protect our resources and minimize impacts by not straying off roads/trails. 

*Contact us directly if you wish to establish a site on your private land

Recording flow condition

Data collection is meant to be a rapid assessment that can be made by anyone. Therefore, we are interested in the basic information of where the stream is located and what is the current flow condition. Streamflow presence/absence is recorded as one of four categories.

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