LJEA Field Assessment Procedures
To get a “snap-shot” of the health of the Lake James watershed, the Catawba and Linville rivers, and some of their major tributaries, LJEA adopted a rapid assessment protocol. The procedures were adapted from the Ecological Stream Monitoring Protocol for Western North Carolina Wadeable Streams and Rivers, written for use by the NC Stream Monitoring Information Exchange by Kanugalihi Biological Consulting. The protocol changes were made with advice from David Penrose, Dr. Shea Tuberty, and Chris Tomsic. A workshop was held at Lake James State Park for LJEA volunteers and the university students to review the purposes and use of the sampling equipment. The workshop included an in-field session that concentrated on assessing habitat and stream bank erosion potential.
The rapid assessment protocol was used on 27 January 2018 and 6 February 2018 to assess 15 sites in the Catawba watershed and two smaller streams directly tributary to Lake James. The assessment teams were lead by David Penrose and Levi Reece. David Penrose provided macroinvertebrate identification and Biotic Index scoring. Dr. Shea Tuberty led a team of ASU students to perform assessments at 4 sites in the Linville watershed on 8 April 2018. Dr. Tuberty provided quality assurance review of the macroinvertebrate identification and Biotic Index scoring for the Linville watershed.