Welcome! This page contains virtual resources created in 2020 to allow the Stream Smart programs to continue to be implemented during COVID-19. A number of options meeting social distancing restrictions are presented below. For more information on programs, including availability, click here to email program staff.
Salmon Watch Program
Salmon Watch is a program that teaches students about watershed health and stewardship from the perspective of a salmon. Students learn about salmon biology, their life cycle, and their behavior in the stream as they build redds and spawn. They also learn about water quality by collecting and analyzing samples to evaluate whether conditions are suitable for salmon and other aquatic species (macroinvertebrates). Students also study stream and river health by collecting, sorting, and identifying macroinvertebrates (collection pictured above). Finally, the students look at the surrounding riparian area, what functions it provides, what makes a riparian zone healthy, and the importance of riparian areas.
Program Overview Presentation
Offered virtually, interactively (live via Zoom), or in-person when conditions allow.
The Salmon Watch overview presentation is available as a resource for local schools, education groups, and other interested individuals. It is traditionally offered on a limited basis in-school. For 2020 and beyond, it will be available as a stand-alone presentation, a Zoom-recorded, live via Zoom, and in-class (when social distancing allows). Please contact Greg Stabach at RVCOG (541) 423-1370 or gstabachATrvcog.org to schedule a “live” presentation.
Riparian Module (1 of 4 Salmon Watch Modules)
The riparian module highlights the importance of healthy riparian areas and their links to water quality and salmon habitat.
1. Riparian Area Drawing/Mapping Activity to do at home
- Draw or map a real or imagined riparian area and list as many of the following components listed below (10 pts total)
- You can draw it “bird’s eye view” or “plan view”. Imagine you are a bird flying over the stream or river. What do you see?
- Another option is to draw the stream or river from the side or cutaway. imagine taking a picture looking upstream or downstream. What do you see?
- The drawing or map does not have to be to scale, meaning that you can make some items (like an insect) larger than you might see in real life.
- You can use pen/marker, pencil, crayons, or paint. Color is nice, but not necessary.
- Example forms can be found by clicking here.
The important part: draw the items below and make them clearly visible in your drawing and number them as indicated
- body of freshwater: either stream, lake, or spring (1 pt.)
- bank or edge of the freshwater and riparian area (1 pt.)
- upland (the area where floodwaters do not reach) (1 pt.)
- trees (1 pt.)
- shrubs (1 pt.)
- herbs/grasses (1 pt.)
- 1 animal dependent upon cold, clean water located in the stream (can be an invertebrate, fish, or another animal) (1 pt.)
- 1 animal dependent upon the riparian area (1 pt.)
- downed wood & leaf little either in-stream or in the riparian area (1 pt.)
- evidence of human activity or impact (what do people leave in riparian areas) (1 pt.)
2. Riparian Scavenger Hunt
Please find or answer the following items: Draw or describe in writing.
- How many different kinds of evergreen trees are there in this area?
- How many kinds of berries or fruits can you find? (Do not eat them!)
- Find three different kinds of seeds or cones.
- Is there an eroded stream bank in the area? If so, what do you think caused the erosion?
- Is there a place where tree roots are holding the stream bank?
- Looking around the stream and riparian area, find 3 different types of cover that help protect fish from predators
- Find an insect or sign of an insect
- Find three different types of evidence that birds occur in the area.
- Did you see any wildlife, fish, or aquatic species? If yes, please not what you saw.
Click here for a pdf version of the Scavenger Hunt Sheet
Salmon Biology and Salmon dissection (Module 2 of 4)
The Salmon biology module discusses salmon biology, their life cycle, behavior, and the importance of clean water and healthy riparian areas in relation to salmon health. Materials covered in the session may include salmon dissection or observation of fish in the streams and rivers depending on the season, instructor preference, and whether or not fish are visible from the field location.
Video link from ODFW