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Monitoring includes water quality sampling, existing vegetation analysis, snorkel surveying for fish and other aquatic organisms, post-restoration surveys, and measuring physical stream features.

Monitoring is a long-term investment that helps prioritize project development and assess the impact of our restoration. 

The area within the RRWC service area covers approximately half of the Rogue River Basin, a total of 1.9 million acres from the headwaters of the Rogue near Crater Lake to the mouth of Kelsey Creek. Encompassing the towns of Shady Cove in the upper region of the Basin, all the way to Merlin in the lower Rogue region, and all of the cities and towns in between.

Restoration in the face of ongoing threats, a changing climate, and abounding restoration potential requires prioritization to be effective. Monitoring is one tool we use to help us prioritize where our restoration can have the most positive impact on watershed conditions, drinking water protection, and wildlife. 

RRWC has a monitoring plan for each restoration project that helps measure the success of restoration. We use photo point locations, summer water temperature collection, vegetation surveys, snorkel surveys, and spawning surveys. All of these monitoring components will inform the expected outcomes.

Closeup of water quality monitoring equipment

We have been monitoring water quality in
Bear Creek since 2015.

Reconnected Side Channel Leads to Increased Number of Salmonid Redds

The Rogue River Basin supports internationally-valued salmon and steelhead populations including, Endangered Species Act-listed threatened Coho Salmon. The National Marine Fisheries Service identifies Little Butte Creek as a core watershed for their recovery. Coho and other salmon and trout species use it to lay eggs and grow up (for up to a whole year) before migrating to the ocean.


In the South Fork of Little Butte Creek, pre-project monitoring of salmonid abundance through spawning and snorkel surveys provided insight into where salmonids could be found spawning, over-summering, and enduring high-flow events in the winter and spring. These types of monitoring surveys are done within Rogue River watersheds before projects are implemented to help inform where the highest priority for restoration exists. 

Salmonid redd abundance graphic

Before restoration in 2022, spawning surveys at the South Fork Little Butte Creek RM 6.2 project resulted in the identification of 20 redds (nests) as well as post-spawn salmon carcasses. Post-restoration in 2023, these monitoring efforts found more than double the number of redds, several of which were found in the newly restored secondary channel on the site. These monitoring results support that the restoration actions enhanced the spawning habitat of the native fish and their use of this habitat was immediate.

See What We Found on a Spawning Survey





Fish aren't the only creatures we find while monitoring

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